|Carmen 23 (in English by Christopher Bradley)
Vercellese. Compare two languages here.
Furius, you who have neither a servant nor a moneychest,
neither a bedbug nor a spider-web nor a fire,
but have a father and step-mother,
whose teeth even are able to eat hard rock:
things are sweet to you, with your father,
and with the tough wife of your father.
Do not be amazed: for you are all well,
you digest well, you fear nothing -
not fires, not severe ruin,
not wicked deeds, not plots of poison,
nor other dangerous accidents.
And you have bodies drier than horn,
or whatever is drier than horn;
and they are accustomed to both cold and hunger.
Why then is everything not well and blessed for you?
Sweat also is absent from you, and saliva,
and mucus and other bad nasal emissions.
To this cleanliness add more cleanliness,
because you have an anus more pure than a saltcellar,
nor in the entire year do you defecate ten times,
and even then it is more solid than a bean or pebble -
if you rubbed it with your hands,
you wouldn't even be able to make your hands dirty.
These advantages are so beautiful, Furius,
don't spurn them or think them worthless,
and stop begging the hundred sesterces as you are accustomed to:
for you are blessed enough.
|© copyright 5-2-1999 by Christopher Bradley