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Horace 247  Hor ace (65 b.c.–8 b.c.) I, 25 The young men come less often—isn’t it so?— To rap at midnight on your fastened window; Much less often. How do you sleep these days? There was a time your door gave with proficiency On easy hinges; now it seems apter at being shut. I do not think you hear many lovers moaning “Lydia, how can you sleep? “Lydia, the night is so long! “Oh, Lydia, I’m dying for you!” No. The time is coming when you will moan And cry to scornful men from an alley corner In the dark of the moon when the wind’s in a passion With lust that would drive a mare wild Raging in your ulcerous old viscera. You’ll be alone and burning then To think how happy boys take their delight In the new tender buds, the blush of myrtle, Consigning dry leaves to the winter sea. Robert Fitzgerald, 1952 Prayer to Venus iii.26 Not long ago I was alive with passion, and not without my glory in your wars. But now these fabled weapons, like my words, are blunted, worthless. I give them up for good. 248 Latin I hang them here in meager supplication to you, Goddess of love, born of the sea. Here, my crowbar, my brilliant torch, my bow— what use are they? She has shut her doors forever. But I ask you this, o Goddess, only this, Queen of Cyprus, far from Thracian snows: Please let her feel just once what I have felt. Raise the lash high above her arrogant head. Craig Watson, 1999 ...


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