Wednesday, March 30, 2005

A temporary break, I'm afraid.
Back in a few days - don't go away!

The temporary break has been a little longer than a few days! To get things going again, I'm going to miss out the very long III.58 and fill it in some time next week, when I should have some spare time.

Thanks for your comments. Normal service will be resumed shortly!

Saturday, March 19, 2005


arrigis ad uetulas, fastidis, Basse, puellas,
  nec formosa tibi, sed moritura placet.
hic, rogo, non furor est, non haec est mentula demens?
  cum possis Hecaben, non potes Andromachen.

You get it up for old women, Bassus; you loathe girls. You don't enjoy what's pretty but what's at death's door. I ask you, is this not a madness, is this not a demented dick? Whilst you can do a Hecabe, you can't do an Andromache.

Friday, March 18, 2005


stare, Luperce, tibi iam pridem mentula desit,
  luctaris demens tu tamen arrigere.
sed nihil erucae faciunt bulbique salaces,
  improba nec prosunt iam satureia tibi.
coepisti puras opibus corrumpere buccas:
  sic quoque non uiuit sollicitata Venus.
mirari satis hoc quisquam uel credere possit,
  quod non stat, magno stare, Luperce, tibi?

For some time now, Lupercus, your cock has stopped standing; but you, madman, struggle to arise. Yet worts and lecherous bulbs achieve nothing, nor is naughty savory any good to you now. You have begun to corrupt pure mouths with money; even thus your agitated Venus does not live. Could anyone marvel enough at this or believe it - what doesn't stand costs you a lot, Lupercus?

Thursday, March 17, 2005


psilothro faciem leuas et dropace caluam:
  numquid tonsorem, Gargiliane, times?
quid facient ungues? nam certe non potes illos
  resina Veneto nec resecare luto.
desine, si pudor est, miseram traducere caluam:
  hoc fieri cunno, Gargiliane, solet.

You smoothe your face with psilothron and your bald scalp with dropax. Are you scared, Gargilianus, of the barber? What happens with your nails? For surely you can't cut them with resin or Venetian clay. Desist, if you have any shame, from displaying your wretched bald scalp: this, Gargilianus, is what usually happens with a cunt.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


  dormis cum pueris mutuniatis,
  et non stat tibi, Phoebe, quod stat illis.
  quid uis me, rogo, Phoebe, suspicari?
  mollem credere te uirum uolebam,
  sed rumor negat esse te cinaedum.

You sleep with well-endowed boys, Phoebus, and the thing which stands for them does not stand for you. What, I ask, do you want me to suspect, Phoebus? I wanted to believe you were an effeminate man, but rumour says you're not a queen.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


uis futui nec uis mecum, Saufeia, lauari:
  nescio quod magnum suspicor esse nefas.
aut tibi pannosae dependent pectore mammae
  aut sulcos uteri prodere nuda times
aut infinito lacerum patet inguen hiatu
  aut aliquid cunni prominet ore tui.
sed nihil est horum, credo, pulcherrima nuda es.
  si uerum est, uitium peius habes: fatua es.

You want to be fucked, Saufeia, but you don't want to have a bath with me. I suspect that there's something extremely dreadful: either your breasts hang down ragged from your chest, or you fear that when you are nude you might betray the furrows of your belly, or your mangled groin gapes open with an infinite chasm, or something sticks out from the mouth of your cunt. But, I trust, there's none of these things and you're very beautiful naked. If that's true, you have a worse blemish: you're a fool.

Monday, March 14, 2005


mentula cum doleat puero, tibi, Naeuole, culus,
  non sum diuinus, sed scio quid facias.

The boy's cock is hurting him; your arse is hurting you, Naevolus. I'm not a diviner, but I know what you're doing.

Sunday, March 13, 2005


moechus es Aufidiae, qui uir, Scaeuine, fuisti;
  riualis fuerat qui tuus, ille uir est.
cur aliena placet tibi, quae tua non placet, uxor?
  numquid securus non potes arrigere?

You are Aufidia's adulterer, Scaevinus, you who were once her husband; the man who was your rival is her husband. Why do you fancy, when she's someone else's wife, a woman who you don't fancy when she's yours? Can't you get it up if you've nothing to worry about?

Saturday, March 12, 2005


omnia quod scribis castis epigrammata uerbis
  inque tuis nulla est mentula carminibus,
admiror, laudo; nihil est te sanctius uno:
  at mea luxuria pagina nulla uacat.
haec igitur nequam iuuenes facilesque puellae,
  haec senior, sed quem torquet amica, legat.
at tua, Cosconi, uenerandaque sanctaque uerba
  a pueris debent uirginibusque legi.

Because you write all your epigrams with chaste words and there is no cock in your poems, I admire and praise you: there is nothing at all more virtuous than you. But no page of mine is free from dissipation. So let good-for-nothing youths and easy girls read these things, and an older man too, but not one whom a girlfriend is tormenting. But as for your respectable and virtuous words, Cosconius, they ought to be read by boys and maidens.

Friday, March 11, 2005


huc est usque tibi scriptus, matrona, libellus.
  cui sint scripta rogas interiora? mihi.
gymnasium, thermae, stadium est hac parte: recede.
  exuimur: nudos parce uidere uiros.
hinc iam deposito post uina rosasque pudore,
  quid dicat nescit saucia Terpsichore;
schemate nec dubio, sed aperte nominat illam
  quam recipit sexto mense superba Venus,
custodem medio statuit quam uilicus horto,
  opposita spectat quam proba uirgo manu.
si bene te noui, longum iam lassa libellum
  ponebas, totum nunc studiosa leges.

Up to here, matron, this little book has been written for you. For whom, you ask, are the innard parts written? For me. Gymnasium, baths and racetrack are in this part: withdraw. We are undressing: keep yourself from seeing naked men. From now on love-struck Terpsichore, her modesty put aside after the wine and roses, does not know what she is saying, and without ambiguous way of speaking but openly does she name that thing which proud Venus receives in the sixth month - which the bailiff sets up as a guardian in the middle of the garden and which a virtuous maiden views with her hand interposed. If I know you well, you were already tired of the long little book and were putting it down; now you will read the whole thing diligently.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


  cessatis, pueri, nihilque nostis,
  Vaterno Rasinaque pigriores,
  quorum per uada tarda nauigantes
  lentos tinguitis ad celeuma remos.
  iam prono Phaethonte sudat Aethon
  exarsitque dies et hora lassos
  interiungit equos meridiana:
  at uos tam placidas uagi per undas
  tuta luditis otium carina.
  non nautas puto uos, sed Argonautas.

You're slacking, boys, and you've taken no notice of anything; you're more lazy than the Vaternus or Rasina as you sail through their sluggish shallows and moisten your slow oars in time with the call. Already Phaethon is descending and Aethon is sweating; day is ablaze and the midday hour is unyoking tired horses. But as you wander through such placid waters you play at leisure on a safe keel. I consider you not sailors but 'Argo'-nauts.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


par scelus admisit Phariis Antonius armis:
  abscidit uultus ensis uterque sacros.
illud, laurigeros ageres cum laeta triumphos,
  hoc tibi, Roma, caput, cum loquereris, erat.
Antoni tamen est peior quam causa Pothini:
  hic facinus domino praestitit, ille sibi.

Antony committed a crime equal to the weapon of Pharos: each sword cut off a sacred head. The one was yours, Rome, when you were gladly celebrating laurel-crowned triumphs, the other when you spoke. But the case of Antony is worse than that of Pothinus: the latter performed the deed for a master, the former for himself.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


quod spirat tenera malum mordente puella,
  quod de Corycio quae uenit aura croco;
uinea quod primis cum floret cana racemis,
  gramina quod redolent, quae modo carpsit ouis;
quod myrtus, quod messor Arabs, quod sucina trita,
  pallidus Eoo ture quod ignis olet;
gleba quod aestiuo leuiter cum spargitur imbre,
  quod madidas nardo passa corona comas:
hoc tua, saeue puer Diadumene, basia fragrant.
  quid si tota dares illa sine inuidia?

The scent of an apple as a tender girl bites it; the smell which comes from a Corycian saffron; a silvery vineyard blooming with its first clusters; the odour of grasses which a sheep has just grazed; the perfume of myrtle; of an Arabian harvester; of rubbed amber; of a fire pale with Eastern incense; of turf when it has been lightly sprinkled with summer rain; of a garland which has been laid on hair moist with nard - this, cruel boy Diadumenus, is the fragrance of your kisses. What if you were to give them in full, ungrudgingly?

Monday, March 07, 2005


  Sirenas hilarem nauigantium poenam
  blandasque mortes gaudiumque crudele,
  quas nemo quondam deserebat auditas,
  fallax Vlixes dicitur reliquisse.
  non miror: illud, Cassiane, mirarer,
  si fabulantem Canium reliquisset.

The Sirens - blithe hardship of seafarers, their beguiling deaths and cruel gladness - whom no one has ever deserted after hearing them: these is deceitful Ulysses said to have left. I'm not surprised: but I should be surprised, Cassianus, if he had left Canius telling his stories.

Sunday, March 06, 2005


Cotile, bellus homo es: dicunt hoc, Cotile, multi.
  audio: sed quid sit, dic mihi, bellus homo.
'bellus homo est, flexos qui digerit ordine crines,
  balsama qui semper, cinnama semper olet;
cantica qui Nili, qui Gaditana susurrat,
  qui mouet in uarios bracchia uulsa modos;
inter femineas tota qui luce cathedras
  desidet atque aliqua semper in aure sonat;
qui legit hinc illinc missas scribitque tabellas;
  pallia uicini qui refugit cubiti;
qui scit quam quis amet, qui per conuiuia currit,
  Hirpini ueteres qui bene nouit auos.'
quid narras? hoc est, hoc est homo, Cotile, bellus?
  res pertricosa est, Cotile, bellus homo.

Cotilus, you're a pretty chap: many people say this, Cotilus. I hear them; but what, tell me, is a pretty chap? 'A pretty chap is one who arranges his curled hair properly, who always smells of balsam, always smells of cinnamon; who hums songs from the Nile, songs from Gades; who moves his plucked arms to various rhythms; who sits among the ladies' chairs all day long and is always speaking in some ear; who reads letters sent from here and there, and writes them; who shrinks from the coat on his neighbour's elbow; who knows who loves whom; who runs between dinner-parties; who thoroughly knows the ancient ancestors of Hirpinus.' What are you saying? Is this - this - a pretty chap, Cotilus? A pretty chap, Cotilus, is a very perplexing thing.

Saturday, March 05, 2005


centenis quod emis pueros et saepe ducenis,
  quod sub rege Numa condita uina bibis,
quod constat decies tibi non spatiosa supellex,
  libra quod argenti milia quinque rapit,
aurea quod fundi pretio carruca paratur,
  quod pluris mula est quam domus empta tibi:
haec animo credis magno te, Quinte, parare?
  falleris: haec animus, Quinte, pusillus emit.

You buy boys at a hundred thousand each, and often at two hundred thousand; you drink wine that was stored away under king Numa; your furniture, though not very ample, costs you a million; a pound of silver snatches five thousand; you obtain a golden carriage for the price of a farm; your mule has been bought for more than a house. Do you think, Quintus, that you get hold of these things because of your high-mindedness? You're deceived: It is a petty mind, Quintus, which buys these things.

Friday, March 04, 2005


esse nihil dicis quidquid petis, improbe Cinna:
  si nil, Cinna, petis, nil tibi, Cinna, nego.

You say that whatever you're asking for is nothing, impudent Cinna: if you're asking for nothing, Cinna, I'm refusing you nothing.

Thursday, March 03, 2005


cum uocer ad cenam non iam uenalis ut ante,
  cur mihi non eadem quae tibi cena datur?
ostrea tu sumis stagno saturata Lucrino,
  sugitur inciso mitulus ore mihi:
sunt tibi boleti, fungos ego sumo suillos;
  res tibi cum rhombo est, at mihi cum sparulo.
aureus immodicis turtur te clunibus implet,
  ponitur in cauea mortua pica mihi.
cur sine te ceno cum tecum, Pontice, cenem?
  sportula quod non est prosit: edamus idem.

Since I'm no longer invited to dinner for a price as I was before, why isn't the same dinner given to me as to you? You take oysters sated in the Lucrine lake; I suck at a mussel that's cut my mouth. You have mushrooms; I take pig-fungi. You concern yourself with the turbot; but I with the bream. A golden turtle-dove fills you with its oversized rump; a magpie that died in its cage is put in front of me. Why do I dine without you, Ponticus, when I dine with you? The non-existence of the dole should do some good: let's eat the same thing.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


sutor Cerdo dedit tibi, culta Bononia, munus,
  fullo dedit Mutinae: nunc ubi copo dabit?

The cobbler Cerdo gave you a show, cultured Bononia; a fuller gave Mutina one. Now where will the innkeeper give one?