PROLOGUSPROLOGUE
Persius (Aules Persius Flaccus)trans. Raymond Geuss
Nec fronte labra prolui caballino I never washed my face with cool retsina
nec in bicipiti somniasse Parnaso or kipped beneath a bridge out of the rain.
memini, ut repente sic poeta prodirem. I never fell asleep inside a bookshop;
Heliconidasque pallidamque Pirenen I come a semi-pagan to the feast.
illis remitto quorum imagines lambunt Who taught the parrot his cheery 'Ciao!'?
hederae sequaces: ipse semipaganusturned on the tape to imitate our speech?
ad sacra uatum carmen adfero nostrum. Who coached the voice of e-mail?
quis expediuit psittaco suum 'chaere', Some silicated PhD (no doubt). One glimpse
picamque docuit uerba nostra conari? of greenbacks, even a mirage, and crows rise
magister artis ingenique largitor from the trees. What won't they do for art?
uenter, negatas artifex sequi uoces.
quod si dolosi spes refulserit nummi,
coruos poetas et poetridas picas
cantare credas Pegaseium nectar.

Trans. Copyright © Raymond Geuss 1999, - publ. Hearing Eye


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