Horace (Q. Horatius Flaccus)trans. Roland John
Cum tu, Lydia, Telephi
cervicem roseam, cerea Telephi
laudas bracchia, vae meum
fervens difficili bile tumet iecur.
tum nec mens mihi nec color
certa sede manent, umor et in genas
furtim labitur, arguens
quam lentis penitus macerer ignibus.
uror, seu tibi candidos
turparunt umeros immodicae mero
rixae, sive puer furens
impressit memorem dente labris notam.
non, si me satis audias,
speres perpetuum dulcia barbare
laedentem oscula quae Venus
quinta parte sui nectaris imbuit.
felices ter et amplius
quos irrupta tenet copula nec malis
divulsus querimoniis
suprema citius solvet amor die.

When you taunt me with your praises
for your lover's sweet arms and neck
I rage and anger wells over;
I cry. Yes! These are tears
and my pale cheeks' proof
of my rising passion.

And when after a drunken party
your shoulders are marked with bites,
your lips raw from his kisses,
I am blind with jealousy.
Listen, I can't be kept faithful always,
one day you'll lose me -
my love and my caresses.

Why can't we be like other couples
whose love has friendship as a root,
their only separation comes with death,
for them love and life are one.

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Trans. Copyright © Roland John 1979 - publ. Agenda 16.3-4; Agenda Editions 1985.

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