by PUBLIUS OVIDIUS NASO (Ovid)
author of Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love)
written during reign of Caesar Augustus.
Adapted into American English
beginning of reign of Barack Obamicus
by NICK HERBERT (Doctor Jabir)
WITH HOW YOU LOOKS
AND HOW I WRITES
BABY, I COULD PUT
YOUR NAME IN LIGHTS!
Time destroys flints and iron plowshares
but poetry is indestructible
greater than kings and their triumphs
rarer than Spanish gold.
The crowd goes for tinsel. I choose golden Apollo.
I get high and inspired on Castalian water.
My special gift is verse, the praise of true beauty.
If I choose, my art can make you famous.
Dresses rip, jewels and golden trinkets break
but poetic fame is a gift that shines forever.
Follow my lead, honey
and I swear by my Poet's Laurels
that two thousand years from now
they'll still be talking about you and me.
You shall be theme and inspiration.
My verse the mirror of your merit.
Io, the timid heifer
Leda, who loved a swan
Europa at sea, holding tight to a bull's horns--
these women owe their fame to verse.
Like them, verse can make you famous for all time
your name and mine--linked together
wherever Latin is spoken.
Te mihi felicem in carmina praebe*.
Make us both happy, lady. You know how.
O Beauty, who puts Aphrodite's candle out,
Give your Ovid something good to write about.
(*Let your felicity spill into my verses.)