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Sextus

The Complete Elegies Of Sextus Propertius , 2004, Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford

Book Two, Poem 2.29A

Babe, last night, as I was wandering around drunk
with no group of servants to guide me,
a band of little boys, I don't know how many, suddenly appeared
in my way (fear prevented my counting them)
Some were holding torches, others arrows;
still another group seemed to be preparing chains for me.
But they were nude. A certain particularly lewd one
said, "Grab him! He's the guy!"
He's the one the angry lady put a contract out on."
He spoke, and a rope was already tied around my neck
One shouts out to push me in front of them, another,
"Let him die, who doesn't believe we're gods!
She waits for you, who don't deserve her, hours on end:
but you, you clod, go after any old broad.
When she's untied the Sidonian turban she wears
at night and begins to open her heavy eyes,
scents of Arabian herbs will not blow across you
but rather those which Love himself has made with his hands.
Let him go, brothers. Already he swears to be faithful,
and already, look, we've arrived at the designated house."
And then, throwing my cloak at me, they said again,
"Go now, and learn to stay home at night."

 

Book is available for purhcase from Princeton Unviversity press.