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Bill Thayer

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This webpage reproduces some of the
Carmina Minora


published in the Loeb Classical Library,

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

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From the Shorter Poems

 p273  [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] XLVI (LXXII)
On a Cloak and a Bridle.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] His loving mother did not always fashion for her dear son Achilles those round shields that did affright the world; she did not constantly approach the fiery caverns of the god of Lemnos, begging a plumèd helmet for her son. She gave him, besides these, garments of peace and unwarlike adornments wherewith, after the toils of war, he might shine conspicuous among the chiefs of the Achaeans. With her own hand she wove him cloaks of purple and gold and with patient care studded with ocean gems bridles to adorn his fleet steeds, Xanthus and Balius.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] On thee, most puissant emperor, thy wife's parents bestow diverse presents. Stilicho gives thee warlike gifts — slaughter of barbarians and victories on the Rhine; Serena, content to do such work as befits a queen, plies her busy loom to weave thee raiment.

 p275  [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] XLVII (LXXIII)
On a Gift to a Horse.

Happy steed, whose good fortune it is to obey the directing hand of a god and to be guided by a sacred bit. Whether on the plains of Spain the wind tossed thy mane in sport, or thou didst bathe in the melted snows of Mount Argaeus, in some fertile valley of Cappadocia, or thou didst scour the rich pasture-lands of Thessaly in wind-swift course, receive this royal harness and, tossing thy proud mane, fleck with foam the bridle studded with emeralds. Arch thy haughty neck beneath its collar of pearls; let cloth of purple and gold clothe thy shoulders and a belt of many colours worked by Serena's chaste hands pass beneath thy belly. 'Tis an ornament worthy the kings of Persia. Such is her motherly love that to enhance her son-in‑law's glory she disdains not to embroider the very harness of his horses.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] XLVIII (LXX)
On a Strap embroidered by Serena for Honorius' Horse.

Receive at a sister's hand a small gift, revered prince, a gift embroidered by her own hand; the bridle of thy champing steed is of gold, his head-harness studded with jewels; use now this strap to pass beneath his belly. Whether his home was the grassy plain of Armenia, or by the Halys, swollen with the melted snows of Mount Argaeus wherein he was wont to bathe, he well deserves an emerald-encrusted bit to champ in his blood-flecked mouth and cloth of Tyrian purple to adorn his back. How  p277 conscious he is of his own beauty as he steps high and shakes his flowing mane over his proud neck! The slight nature of the present is dignified by the affection of Serena who for her brothers decks even their swift steeds.

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Page updated: 9 Aug 07