Tuesday, November 26, 2019



[Vergil], Copa 31-38 (tr. H. Rushton Fairclough, rev. G.P. Goold):
Come here and rest your weary limbs beneath the shade of vines,
and entwine your drooping head in a coronet of roses,
and, kissing the luscious lips of a pretty girl—
damn you over there with that prudish frown on your face!
Why save fragrant wreaths for ungrateful ashes?
D'you want your bones buried under a garlanded tombstone?
Set forth the wine and dice! To hell with him who thinks of tomorrow!
Death is tweaking my ear and says: "Live it up now, for I'm coming!"

hic age pampinea fessus requiesce sub umbra
   et gravidum roseo necte caput strophio,
formosa et tenerae decerpens ora puellae—
   a pereat cui sunt prisca supercilia!
quid cineri ingrato servas bene olentia serta?        35
   anne coronato vis lapide ossa tegi?
pone merum et talos; pereat qui crastina curat:
   Mors aurem vellens "vivite" ait, "venio."

33 formosa et Clausen: formosum , formosa en Courtney, formosum os ... ore Olszaniec
36 ossa Ilgen: ista
Another English version, by L.P. Wilkinson, Greece & Rome 12.1 (April, 1965) 41:
Come along. You're tired out. Lie down beneath this pear-tree.
   Here's a drop of lavender to sprinkle on your hair.
Choose a girl with cherry lips and don't be shy of kissing.
   Eye-brow-raising puritans can chase themselves, I say.
What's the point of keeping flowers to put on thankless tombstones?
   You won't want them on your grave when you have had your day.
Draw a pint. Get out the darts. Who cares about tomorrow?
   Death is whispering in your ear, 'Live now. I'm on my way.'

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