Face Thats Best by Its Own Beauty Blest

Tibullus Elegies 1.8.9-26

How does it now benefit you to adorn [your] soft hair and to arrange [your] altered locks often, how [does it benefit you] to beautify [your] cheeks with shining pigment (lit., dye), how [does it benefit you] to have your fingernails trimmed by the skilled hand of an artist? To no purpose now [your] clothes [are changed], to no purpose [your] shawls are changed, and a tight loop binds [your] constricted feet. That [other] woman is pleasing even though she has come with [her] face not made up (lit., unadorned) and has not arranged [her] elegant head with long-drawn-out skill.

Surely an old woman has not bewitched you with spells [and] pale herbs at the quiet time of night? An incantation brings crops over from neighboring fields, and an incantation stops the advance of an angry snake, and an incantation attempts to pull the Moon down from [her] chariot and would do [so] if gongs were not struck to make a noise (lit, if bronzes having been struck did not make a noise).

Alas! why do I complain that a spell [or] herbs has harmed me in my misery (lit., miserable [me])? Beauty has no use for the aids of magic (lit., does not use magic aids at all). But to touch the body does harm, to give long kisses [does harm], [or] to join thigh to thigh [does harm].

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