Horace (Q. Horatius Flaccus)trans. Roland John

Miserarum est neque amori dare ludum neque dulci
mala vino lavere, aut exanimari metuentis
patruae verbera linguae.

tibi qualum Cythereae puer ales, tibi telas
operosaeque Minervae studium aufert, Neobule,
Liparaei nitor Hebri,

simul unctos Tiberinis umeros lavit in undis,
eques ipso melior Bellerophonte, neque pugno
neque segni pede victus:

catus idem per apertum fugientis agitato
grege cervos iaculari et celer arto latitantem
fruticeto excipere aprum.
Poor Neobule, too well brougnt up
to have affairs
or drink too much,
nothing to drown an uncle's nagging.

She's built for love
and knows it: distracted
she neglects household chores
and puts aside her sewing.

Especially when she sees
the strong, oiled shoulders
of Hebrus stripped
on Tiber's shore.

She knows that body
can outrun, outbox
and no doubt
excel in other sports

ride well - and in the hunt
couch a straight spear.
He's bold enough
to outface any stirring boar.

Trans. Copyright © Roland John 1979 - publ. Agenda 16.3-4; Boundaries (Interim Press) 1985.

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