Horace (Q. Horatius Flaccus) trans. Phil Poole

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.

Thrifty now, the roistering youth with pebble volleys
shake your joined shutters far less often.
Youíre not robbed of sleep and your door frame
hugs the door

which on oiled hinges slid so easily
before. Less and less do you hear this:-
ĎLydia, are you asleep, Iím perishing
itís cold out here.í

Your turníll come to weep, spurned in an empty alley
by cold unfeeling fuckers, old crone
in the interlunar dark with the wind
howling deranged

and you aflame with desire and the need
that drives a mare wild
raging round your aching liver.
How youíll complain

at carefree youth grabbing green ivy
or dark mournful myrtle, scattering
dry leaves to winterís hanger-on,
the cold east wind.

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Trans. Copyright © Phil Poole 2008

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