The middle of night, and a letter has come from my mistress to me,
commanding my presence at Tibur without delay,
where the gleaming hills display their double towers on high,
and Anio's Naiad dives to the spreading pools.
What should I do? Entrust myself to the shrouding night,
dreading that lawless hands may attack my body?
Yet if I disobey her orders out of fear,
her tears will hurt me more than a night assault.
Once, for a single crime, she spurned me one whole year:
she does not govern me with a gentle hand.
Yet no one would hurt a lover: lovers are sacrosanct,