If there is someone who does not know what the art of romance is,
then he should read this book; read and he'll love like a pro.
Art's what impels swift vessels ahead by the sail and by paddle;
art makes chariots fast; art is the ruler of Love.
Just as Automedon handled the chariot aptly with slack reins,
as, on Haemonian stern, Tiphys was master at sea,
Venus has made me cunning and skillful at delicate courtship:
I'm the Automedon, I'm known as the Tiphys of love.
Amor is feral, it's true, and he often repudiates me, but
he is a boy, and his soft age is disposed to be ruled.
Chiron instructed Achilles the youth in the cithara's modes and
conquered his untamed mind with the harmonious arts.
He who had utterly frightened as many companions as foes is
said to have trembled before Chiron the feeble old man.
Hector succumbed to the same hands which, at the schoolmaster's bidding,
that young boy held out, ordered to suffer the whip.
Chiron was master of Aeacus' grandson; I of the Love god.
One was a merciless child, one was the son of a god.
Nevertheless, as the neck of the bull can be burdened by plowing,
and as the bit wears down spirited stallions' teeth,
just so will Amor accede to my wishes, despite the distress his
bow will inflict in my breast, waving his torch in my face.
Amor has pierced me with arrows, and violently scorched me, however
I will be all the more wroth venging the wounds he has made.
Phoebus, I shall not pretend that you gave me this art as a present,
nor that I've heeded the calls voiced by celestial birds,
nor that the sisters of Clio and Clio herself have been seen by
me as I tended the flocks, Ascra, in valleys of yours.
This is a work that experience motivates; hark to the prophet;
truth will I sing: as I start, Mother of Amor, be near.
Stay far, delicate headbands, modest insignia, stay far
long, chaste dresses that hide even the ankles and feet.
We'll sing songs about innocent lust and admissible intrigue,
and in the music I write there will be nothing corrupt.
Firstly, the girl you desire to love, you must strive to encounter,
you who are taking up arms now as a soldier of love.
Second, thereafter, your task is persuading the sociable lady;
thirdly your job is to make sure the affair can endure.
This is my method, and this is the ground that my chariot covers.
That is the turning-post worn down by the galloping wheels.