Ovidtrans. Daniel Galbraith

Aestus erat, mediamque dies exegerat horam;
adposui medio membra levanda toro.
pars adaperta fuit, pars altera clausa fenestrae;
quale fere silvae lumen habere solent,
qualia sublucent fugiente crepuscula Phoebo,
aut ubi nox abiit, nec tamen orta dies.
illa verecundis lux est praebenda puellis,
qua timidus latebras speret habere pudor.

Ecce, Corinna venit, tunica velata recincta,
candida dividua colla tegente coma -
qualiter in thalamos famosa Semiramis isse
dicitur, et multis Lais amata viris.
Deripui tunicam - nec multum rara nocebat;
pugnabat tunica sed tamen illa tegi.
quae cum ita pugnaret, tamquam quae vincere nollet,
victa est non aegre proditione sua.

Ut stetit ante oculos posito velamine nostros,
in toto nusquam corpore menda fuit.
quos umeros, quales vidi tetigique lacertos!
forma papillarum quam fuit apta premi!
quam castigato planus sub pectore venter!
quantum et quale latus! quam iuvenale femur!

Singula quid referam? nil non laudabile vidi
et nudam pressi corpus ad usque meum.
Cetera quis nescit? lassi requievimus ambo.
proveniant medii sic mihi saepe dies!

It was a scorcher - a sweltering afternoon.
I reclined on the couch.
There shutters were half-open-half-closed,
With a quasi-lumberlight,
A dusky light, a day-to-night light
Or a dawny light, a night-to-day light.
Shy girls require this haziness:
In it they want to hide their bashfulness.

Look - Corinna! Loosely dressed
With parted hair tucked over her ivory neck
Like sexy Semiramis, the exotic Queen
Or loose Lais, the harlot.
I tore off her scanty tunic,
But she grabbed it back -
Albeit half-heartedly, and so
I was the victor, she self-betrayed.

There she was in front of me, nude;
On her body no blemish to be seen.
Oh, what shapely shoulders!
What arms Iíve seen and touched!
What curvaceous breasts, fit to be caressed!
Her smooth belly below her elegant bosom!
What a long, slender side! What a thrilling thigh!
But why single out fragments of her form?
Nothing was unworthy of praise.

At last I clasped her naked form to mine.
You can fill in the rest yourself.
Then, breathless, we both eased up.
Oh, let every noontime turn out like this for me!

Winner of the 18-and-under category - Stephen Spender Prize 2008

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