From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Fond Hope keeps the spark alive, whispering ever that to-morrow things will mend.

Albus Tibullus (c. 54 BC19 BC) was a Roman elegiac poet of the Golden Age of Latin literature.


Be bold: Venus herself aids the stout-hearted.


Translations are taken from the English version by J. P. Postgate in the Loeb Classical Library (London: William Heinemann, [1913] 1962).
  • Te spectem, suprema mihi cum venerit hora,
    Et teneam moriens deficiente manu.
    • May I look on thee when my last hour comes; may I hold thy hand, as I sink, in my dying clasp.
    • Bk. 1, no. 1, line 59.
    • Variant translation: May I be looking at you when my last hour has come, and dying may I hold you with my weakening hand.
  • Audendum est: fortes adiuvat ipsa Venus.
    • Be bold: Venus herself aids the stout-hearted.
    • Bk. 1, no. 2, line 16.
  • Nec iurare time: veneris periuria venti
    inrita per terras et freta summa ferunt.
    gratia magna Iovi: vetuit Pater ipse valere,
    iurasset cupide quidquid ineptus amor.
    • Be not afraid to swear. Null and void are the perjuries of love; the winds bear them ineffective over land and the face of the sea. Great thanks to Jove! The Sire himself has decreed no oath should stand that love has taken in the folly of desire.
    • Bk. 1, no. 4, line 21.
  • Te propter nullos tellus tua postulat imbres,
    arida nec pluvio supplicat herba Iovi.
    • Because of thee thy Egypt never sues for showers, nor does the parched blade bow to Jove the Rain-giver.
    • Bk. 1, no. 7, line 25.
    • Of the River Nile.
    • Variant translation: Because of you your land never pleads for showers, nor does its parched grass pray to Jupiter the Rain-giver.
  • Quis fuit, horrendos primus qui protulit enses?
    quam ferus et vere ferreus ille fuit!
    • Who was the first discoverer of the horrible sword? How savage was he and literally iron!
    • Bk. 1, no. 10, line 1.
  • Atque aliquis senior veteres veneratus amores
    annua constructo serta dabit tumulo,
    et "bene" discedens dicet "placideque quiescas,
    terraque securae sit super ossa levis."
    • And some aged man in homage to his ancient love will yearly place a garland on her mounded tomb, and, as he goes, will say: "Sleep well and peacefully, and above thy untroubled ashes let the earth be light."
    • Bk. 2, no. 4, line 47.
  • Credula vitam
    spes fovet et fore cras semper ait melius.
    • Fond Hope keeps the spark alive, whispering ever that to-morrow things will mend.
    • Bk. 2, no. 6, line 19.


  • Illam, quidquid agit, quoquo vestigia movit,
    componit furtim subsequiturque Decor.
    • Whatsoever [Love] does, whithersoever she turns her steps, Grace follows her unseen to order all aright.
    • Bk. 4, no. 2, line 7.
    • Tibullus' authorship of this poem is doubtful.



The traditional attribution of these poems to Tibullus is no longer credited.

  • Difficile est tristi fingere mente iocum.
    • 'Tis hard to feign merriment when the heart is sad.
    • Bk. 3, no. 6, line 34.
  • Periuria ridet amantum
    • Jupiter laughs at the false oaths of lovers.
    • Bk. 3, no. 6, line 49.
  • Est nobis voluisse satis.
    • It is enough for me to have shown the will.
    • Bk. 4, no. 1, line 7.

Quotes about Tibullus

  • Encyclopedic article on Tibullus on Wikipedia