Martial (M. Valerius Martialis) trans. A.S.Kline
Cum cathedrata litos portet tibi raeda ministros
Et Libys in longo pulvere sudet eques,
Strataque non unas cingant triclinia Baias
Et Thetis unguento palleat uncta tuo,
Candida Setini rumpant crystalla trientes,
Dormiat in pluma nec meliore Venus:
Ad nocturna iaces fastosae limina moechae,
Et madet, heu, lacrimis ianua surda tuis,
Urere nec miserum cessant suspiria pectus.
Vis dicam, male sit cur tibi, Cotta? bene est.
Though a fitted carriage bears your painted servants,
though a Libyan horseman sweats in a trail of dust,
and purple draperies dye your Baian villas
and Thetis’ waters yellow with your creams,
though draughts of Setine brim your lucent crystal,
and Venus sleeps beneath no softer down,
still at night you lie at a proud girl’s threshold
drenching, alas, her mute door with your tears,
while ceaseless sighs burn through your wretched breast.
Want to know your curse, Cotta? You’re too well off.

Trans. Copyright © A.S.Kline 2003

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