EPIGRAMS - V.34 EROTION THE SLAVE-GIRL
Martial (M. Valerius Martialis) trans. A.S.Kline
Hanc tibi, Fronto pater, genetrix Flaccilla, puellam
oscula commendo deliciasque meas,
paruola ne nigras horrescat Erotion umbras
oraque Tartarei prodigiosa canis.
Impletura fuit sextae modo frigora brumae,
uixisset totidem ni minus illa dies.
Inter tam ueteres ludat lasciua patronos
et nomen blaeso garriat ore meum.
Mollia non rigidus caespes tegat ossa nec illi,
terra, grauis fueris: non fuit illa tibi.
To your shades Fronto, and Flacilla, this child
I commend: she was my sweet and my delight.
Little Erotion shall not fear the darkened shades
nor the vast mouths of the Tartarean hound.
She’d have completed her sixth chill winter,
if she’d not lived a mere six days too few.
Now let her frisk and play among old friends
now let her chatter, and so lisp my name.
And let the soft turf cover her brittle bones:
earth, lie lightly on her: she lay lightly on you.

Trans. Copyright © A.S.Kline 2003


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