Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sulpicia, Letters (Epistulae)

Sulpicia [aut incerta auctrix aut incertus auctor]
period uncertain
Trans RMBullard
Latin (Republican or Late Imperial period )

(late 1st century B.C.)


Tandem venit amor, qualem texisse pudori
    quam nudasse alicui sit mihi fama magis.
[At last, a love affair comes, the type that would give me more fame to have covered, for the sake of modesty, than to have revealed it to somebody.]

Exorata meis illum Cytherea Camenis
    adtulit in nostrum deposuitque sinum.
[The Cytherean goddess, prayed for my Camenan poems, carried and dropped down my fellow into my lap.]

Exsolvit promissa Venus:
[Venus has kept her promises completely:]

mea gaudia narret,
    dicetur siquis non habuisse sua.
[Let someone report my joy, let someone be said to not experience his own.]

Non ego signatis quicquam mandare tabellis,
    ne legat id nemo quam meus ante, velim,
[For my part, I do not wish send anything through the tablets I've signed,]

sed peccasse iuvat, vultus conponere famae
[but I'm happy to have erred, and it makes me sad to have to keep a composed face despite the fame:]

cum digno digna fuisse ferar.
[Let me be seed to have been a girl worthy of a worthy fellow.]


Invisus natalis adest, qui rure molesto
    et sine Cerintho tristis agendus erit.
[What a hateful birthday that must be spent in the annoying countryside, a sad maiden and without Cerinthus.]

Dulcius urbe quid est?
[What's sweeter than the city?]

an villa sit apta puellae
    atque Arrentino frigidus amnis agro?
[or might a countryside be fit for a girl, and also the freezing river in the land of Arrezzo?]

Iam nimium Messalla mei studiose, quiescas,
[Hey Messalla, already too curious about me, may you fall silent,]

    heu tempestivae, saeve propinque, viae!
[Woe's me! the roads are stormy, and cruel nearby!]

Hic animum sensusque meos abducta relinquo,
[In this place, I, now left behind, will lose my wit and senses,]

    arbitrio quamvis non sinis esse meo.
[so long as you not allow me my discretion.]


Scis iter ex animo sublatum triste puellae?
[Do you know any path hidden from the sad mind of a girl?]

    natali Romae iam licet esse suo.
[She can now be in Rome on her birthday.]

Omnibus ille dies nobis natalis agatur,
    qui nec opinanti nunc tibi forte venit.
[May everybody have the kind of birthday, the kind that now comes to you even when you truly don't think it will.]


Gratum est, securus multum quod iam tibi de me
[It pleases me to follow the great amount of things you now allow to me,]

subito ne male inepta cadam.
[let me now suddenly not fall, hopelessly inept as I am.]

Sit tibi cura togae potior pressumque quasillo
    scortum quam Servi filia Sulpicia:
[Let the care of a whore's toga be preferable to you, and a slut pressed by a *, more than Sulpicia, daughter of Servus.]

Solliciti sunt pro nobis, quibus illa dolori est,
[People are worrying about me, something of which is a cause for grief,]

    ne cedam ignoto, maxima causa, toro.
[let me not yield to an unknown bed, even if I have the greatest of all causes.]


Estne tibi, Cerinthe, tuae pia cura puellae,
[O Cerinthus, is the dutiful concern of your girl,]

    quod mea nunc vexat corpora fessa calor?
[what is this heat that now vexes my tired body?]

A ego non aliter tristes evincere morbos
    optarim, quam te si quoque velle putem.
[Ah! for my part, I might not otherwise wish to beat back depressing illness,  than if I think about you too.]

At mihi quid prosit morbos evincere, si tu
    nostra potes lento pectore ferre mala?
[But what good might it do me to beat back illness if it is you who can stand to bear my troubles with a slow heart?]


Ne tibi sim, mea lux, aeque iam fervida cura
[My light of my life, let my blistering worry now not be shared by you]

    ac videor paucos ante fuisse dies,
[and I think that it had a few days ago,]

si quicquam tota conmisi stulta iuventa,
[if I lost anything from my entire thoughtless youth,]

    cuius me fatear paenituisse magis,
[which I may confess I had grieved over,]

hesterna quam te solum quod nocte reliqui,
[At night I left you what there was in the evening,]

    ardorem cupiens dissimulare meum.
[desiring to deceive my own yearning.]