By the way, I've recently being reading a lot of Tibullus, and I'm surprised that it seems a common place in the critic to attribute to Tibullus certain incoherence or lack of unity in his works. I didn't note that really, his ideas flow very smoothly (I mean, it is easy to see the connection from one idea to the next), though it is true that the whole may seem a little rambling, and upon the end of the poem one can say: how did I arrive here? This idea is well expressed by Miller in his Latin Erotic Elegy book (which by the way I found very useful), and I read Tibullus' Book 1 and Book 2 completely and I feel in agreement with his opinion.
Now I'm starting with Propertius, and upon reading this first elegy, I don't understand how the critic says that of Tibullus, when Propertius seems in this sense (well, I can just talk of this first elegy for now) ten thousand times worst!
The commentaries I'm working with are too occupied with textual problems and seem not to pay much attention to other literary aspects, or when they do, they focus on a single and isolated word or expression and do not try to make sense of the whole. (By the way, I didn't have this problem with Tibullus! Critics seem so worried with Tibullus' supposed lack of unity, that they always rack their brains to find some reassuring structure to the whole, and as a result, I've found a lot of paper taking care of that).
Nota bene: please do not take these as firm convictions of mine or anything like that, but just my first humble impressions approaching these poets for the first time.
These are the sections I was able to find:
1-8 about his love
9-16 Milanion mythological exemplum
17-24 petition for magic help
25-30 petition for friends' help
31-38 advertence to his friends
But I couldn't make sense of the whole, I read it again and again, but I can't, I give up.
Cynthia prima suis miserum me cepit ocellis,
contactum nullis ante cupidinibus.
tum mihi constantis deiecit lumina fastus
et caput impositis pressit Amor pedibus,
5donec me docuit castas odisse puellas
improbus, et nullo vivere consilio.
ei mihi, iam toto furor hic non deficit anno,
cum tamen adversos cogor habere deos.
Milanion nullos fugiendo, Tulle, labores
10saevitiam durae contudit Iasidos.
nam modo Partheniis amens errabat in antris,
rursus in hirsutas ibat et ille feras;
ille etiam Hylaei percussus vulnere rami
saucius Arcadiis rupibus ingemuit.
15ergo velocem potuit domuisse puellam:
tantum in amore fides et benefacta valent.
in me tardus Amor non ullas cogitat artes,
nec meminit notas, ut prius, ire vias.
at vos, deductae quibus est pellacia lunae
20et labor in magicis sacra piare focis,
en agedum dominae mentem convertite nostrae,
et facite illa meo palleat ore magis!
tunc ego crediderim Manes et sidera vobis
posse Cytinaeis ducere carminibus.
25aut vos, qui sero lapsum revocatis, amici,
quaerite non sani pectoris auxilia.
fortiter et ferrum saevos patiemur et ignes,
sit modo libertas quae velit ira loqui.
ferte per extremas gentes et ferte per undas,
30qua non ulla meum femina norit iter.
vos remanete, quibus facili deus annuit aure,
sitis et in tuto semper amore pares.
nam me nostra Venus noctes exercet amaras,
et nullo vacuus tempore defit Amor.
35hoc, moneo, vitate malum: sua quemque moretur
cura, neque assueto mutet amore torum.
quod si quis monitis tardas adverterit aures,
heu referet quanto verba dolore mea!
Propertius. Elegies. Lucian Mueller. editor. Leipzig. Teubner. 1898. Machine readable text of this edition was posted on the Latin Library (http://www.thelatinlibrary.com) by Konrad Schroder.