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Quid iuvat ornato procedere, vita, capillo
et tenuis Coa veste movere sinus,
aut quid Orontea crinis perfundere murra,
teque teque peregrinis vendere muneribus,
naturaeque naturaeque decus mercato perdere cultu,
nec nec sinere in propriis membra nitere bonis?
crede mihi, non ulla tuae est medicina figurae:
nudus Amor formae non amat artificem.
aspice quos summittat humus formosa colores,
ut veniant hederae sponte sua melius,
surgat et in solis formosius arbutus antris,
et sciat indocilis currere lympha vias.
litora nativis praefulgent picta lapillis,
et volucres nulla dulcius arte canunt.
non sic Leucippis succendit Castora Phoebe,
Pollucem cultu non Hilaira soror;
non, Idae et cupido quondam discordia Phoebo,
Eveni patriis filia litoribus;
nec nec Phrygium falso traxit candore maritum
avecta externis Hippodamia rotis:
sed facies aderat nullis obnoxia gemmis,
qualis Apelleis est color in tabulis.
non illis studium vulgo conquirere amantis:
illis ampla satis forma pudicitia.
non ego nunc vereor ne sim tibi vilior istis:
uni si qua placet, culta puella sat est;
cum tibi praesertim Phoebus sua carmina donet
Aoniamque Aoniamque libens Calliopea lyram,
unica nec nec desit iucundis gratia verbis,
omnia quaeque Venus, quaeque Minerva probat.
his tu semper eris nostrae gratissima vitae,
taedia dum miserae sint tibi luxuriae.

Why delight, my life, in walking delicately with hair elaborately decked, and in fluttering the transparent folds of a Coan vesture ? Why drench your hair with Syrian myrrh ? Why set yourself off by artificial means, to spoil the grace of nature by purchased adornment, and not suffer your limbs to shine in their own loveliness.
Believe me, there is no improving beauty like yours by adventitious aid :
genuine Love likes not a disguised form.
See what beauteous hues the earth produces ; how ivy grows better at its own free will ; how the arbutus springs more fairly in solitary clefts of the rock ; how the stream runs in channels never formed by art ;
how the shore produces, of its own accord, pebbles of varied hue, the growth of itself ; and how birds sing not the more sweetly by any art.
Not in that way did Phoebe, the daughter of Leucippus, set Castor's heart on fire ; nor did her sister, Hilaira, make Pollux in love with her by her dress.
Not so, in days of yore, did the daugher of Evenus, on the banks of her father's stream, become the subject of strife between Idas and the amorous Phoebus :
nor did Hippodamia, that was carried off in the chariot of a stranger, attract her Phrygian husband by artificial beauty ;
but she had a face indebted to no gems, and a skin like that seen on the canvas of Apelles.
Their aim was not to get lovers from every quarter :
modesty, beauty enough in itself, was theirs.
I fear not now lest you appear to me less worthy than these, --
if she please one man a girl is sufficiently adorned, --
since Phoebus favours you especially with his gift of song, and Calliope willingly adds the Aonian lyre ; a surpassing sweetness is not wanting in your language, and you have everything that Venus or Minerva loves.
With these gifts you shall always be most pleasing to me, provided that you despise paltry gauds.