Friday, April 29, 2011

Martial, Epigram 1.3

Marcus Valerius Martialis
1st-2nd c. AD (over 1,900 years ago)
Trans. RMBullard
Latin (Silver Age)


Argiletanas mauis habitare tabernas,
[You prefer to occupy the shops of Argiletus,]

     cum tibi, parue liber, scrinia nostra uacent.
[when, you small book, my own desks do not have you.]

Nescis, heu, nescis dominae fastidia Romae:
[You don't know, alas, you don't know the toils of our mistress, Rome:]

     crede mihi, nimium Martia turba sapit.
[believe me: she knows the sound of war trumpets all too much.]

Maiores nusquam rhonchi:
[The older generations are never *rhonchus]

 iuuenesque senesque              5
     et pueri nasum rhinocerotis habent.
[young fellows, old ones, and even children have noses like rhinos.]

Audieris cum grande sophos,
[You shall've made an audience with great wisdom,]

 dum basia iactas,
[so long as you toss out kisses]

     ibis ab excusso missus in astra sago.
[you will go up to the stars from the dust that's shaken out.]

Sed tu ne totiens domini patiare lituras
[But, for your sake, lest you so often suffer the trash baskets of your master]

     neue notet lusus tristis harundo tuos,              10
[or lest a sad swallow-bird mark your jokes]

aetherias, lasciue, cupis uolitare per auras:
[you lusty thing, you desire to flit through the upper skies of the air:]

     i, fuge;
[go now, make your escape;]

sed poteras tutior esse domi.
[but you could have been safer at home.]