"tersus atque elegans
", according to Quintilian
Roman elegiac poet, 55-19 B.C., who wrote 2 books of elegies, a total of 16 poems. He seems to have been a friend of Horace, who mentioned him in Epistle 1.4:
Albi, most beautiful critic of our rantings,
What should I tell them you're doing in Pedana?
What convinced you to write the works of Parman Cassius?
Or do you silently creep through the refreshing woods,
Caring for whatever is worthy for men as wise and good as you?
You are not a body without a soul. The gods gave you form,
the gods gave you wealth and the means to enjoy it.
He seems to have been a knight, not completely without means, though poverty and the simple life are dominant themes of his poetry:
Let someone else horde wealth in tawny gold
and hold his acres of fertile field,
whom constant toil makes shake for approaching enemies,
whose dreams are chased by the sounds of war:
My poverty leads me to a peaceful life
while my hearth shines with constant light.(Tib. I.1.1-6)
Even so, his introduction to the great Roman literary circles and source for financial and social support came from his patron, Mesalla, to whom he wrote a genethliakon (birthday poem, this one with a cake and all).
The books are mostly (and fittingly) about his lovers; the first is about the woman Delia, the second about Nemesis (take structure where you can find it...I'm not yet convinced there is much). Specifically, they're about his failed attempts at winning them over; sitting at home and pining while Delia goes off to worship Isis, pounding at her door at night, hoping someone will let him in, throwing dirty glances at his wealthy rivals. It's a self-defeating process. He writes about how wretched his love-life is, hoping it will change, but if it does, he'll lose his topic:
Saepe ego temptavi curas depellere vino:
at dolor in lacrimas verterat omne merum,
saepe aliam tenui: sed iam cum gaudia adirem,
admonuit dominae deseruitque Venus. (Tib I.5.37-40)
How often I tried to lose my cares in liquor!
but pain turned every wine into tears,
How often I held another! but in the heat of passion,
I pictured my mistress, and love deserted me.