Friday, May 6, 2011

Martial, Epigram 1.4

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

Contigeris nostros, Caesar, si forte libellos,
[Caesar, should you by chance happen upon my little books,]

     terrarum dominum pone supercilium.
[calm your brow, the master of the universe.]

Consueuere iocos uestri quoque ferre triumphi,
[You've learned how to endure jokes, even at your own own triumphal procession,]

     materiam dictis nec pudet esse ducem.
[nor is it appropriate for a general to become a subject-matter in spoken matters.]

Qua Thymelen spectas derisoremque Latinum,              5
[Like in the manner you watch Thymeles, and that mocker, Latinus,]

     illa fronte precor carmina nostra legas.
[I pray that you read my poems like that, despite that well-known brow.]

Innocuos censura potest permittere lusus:
[The censors can even allow pranks that are harmless:]

     lasciua est nobis pagina, uita proba.
[My page is risque, but my life, upstanding.]