ODES - I.25 RIBALD ROMEOS ...
Horace (Q. Horatius Flaccus) trans. John Frederick Nims
Parcius iunctas quatiunt fenestras
iactibus crebris iuvenes protervi,
nec tibi somnos adimunt, amatque
ianua limen,
quae prius multum facilis movebat
cardines; audis minus et minus iam
'me tuo longas pereunte noctes,
Lydia, dormis?'
invicem moechos anus arrogantis
flebis in solo levis angiportu,
Thracio bacchante magis sub inter-
lunia vento,
cum tibi flagrans amor et libido,
quae solet matres furiare equorum,
saeviet circa iecum ulcerosum,
non sine questu
laeta quod pubes hedera virenti
gaudeat pulla magis atque myrto,
aridas frondis hiemis sodali
dedicet Hebro.
Ribald romeos less and less berattle
your shut window with impulsive pebbles.
Sleep - who cares? - the clock around. The door's stuck
stiff in its framework,
which once, oh how promptly it popped open
easy hinges. And so rarely heard now
"Night after night I'm dying for you, darling!
You - you just lie there."
Tit for tat. For insolent old lechers
you will weep soon on the lonely curbing
while, above, the dark of the moon excites the
wind from the mountain.
Then, deep down, searing desire (libido
that deranges, too, old rutting horses)
in your riddled abdomen is raging
not without heartache
that the young boys take their solace rather
in the greener ivy, the green myrtle;
and such old winter-bitten sticks and stems they
figure the hell with.

Click here 2 for another translation of this poem.

Trans. Copyright © Mrs. Bonnie Nims 1971 - publ. Rutgers University Press

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