ETSI PERQUE SUOS FALLAX ... A LOVER'S COMPLAINT
Ovid - (from Heroides I) tr. Arthur McHugh


Etsi perque suos fallax iuravit ocellos
Junonemque suam perque suam Venerem,
nulla fides inerit: peruria ridet amantum
Iuppiter et ventos irrita ferre iubet.
Quam vellem tecum longas requiescere noctes
et tecum longas pervigilare dies,
perfida, nec merito nobis inimca rependens,
perfida, sed, quamvis perfida, cara tamen.


Even though she swears by her eyes
and by those deities of hers, Juno and Venus,
you can't believe a deceitful woman:
Jupiter laughs at lovers' worthless oaths
and orders the wind to carry them off ...
How I would like to spend long wakeful nights
and long easy days with you, unfaithful as you are
rejecting me for no reason as you do -
unfaithful yes, but - though unfaithful - still dear.

Trans. Copyright © Arthur McHugh 2008


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