David Durgin & Marcus Valerius Martialis
MIS/TRANSLATION
 

Couplets



A SPECTACLE

Flaccus, in any bath you hear applause,
Know that Maro’s penis is the cause.

IX, xxxiii

ILL-MATCHED

Galla, I don’t wish to marry you, for you are refined,
While my penis is boorish, and indecently inclined.

XI, xix

DESPERATION

Lesbia swears she has never been fucked for free.
It’s true: when she wants to get laid, she pays the fee.

XI, lxii

 

A LOSER

 

Baccara gave his pecker’s care to a physician,
His rival suitor. Baccara will regret the incision.

 

XI, lxxiv

 

IN SYNCH

So long is your dick and your nose as well
That, whenever you stiffen, that nose can tell!

 

VI, xxxvi



NO HOLES BARRED


Thais, if you're not ashamed to yield to every lover,
At least be ashamed that there's no trick you won't cover.

IV, xii


 

TOO TENSE


Phoebus, eat plenty of greens and take purgative herbs,
For you grimace like one who shits rock-solid turds.

III, lxxxix

 


A SECOND CAREER?

 

Diaulus was a doctor, but his practice faltered;
An undertaker now, his service hasn’t altered.

I, xxx

 

LICK AND LEARN

 


Gongylion, what news does your slut have to spout?
I don't mean your mistress, I mean your mouth.

 

III, lxxxii

 

POVERTY

Once poor, your life will always be a bitch,
For wealth today goes only to the rich.

 

V, lxxxi

 

DESTITUTION

 

You’re no debtor, Sextus, we have to say,
For a debtor, Sextus, is one who can pay.

II, iii

CONVENIENCE

 

You ask why Eunuchs engage your wife?
She wants lots of sex, not kids, in her life.

VI, lxvii



A DOG’S BEST FRIEND

Your pup licks your lips with his little tongue.
It’s no wonder, since dogs are so fond of dung.

 

I, lxxxiii

 


A USELESS PRECAUTION

Why crucify your slave when his tongue's cut out?
Know what he can't mention, others noise about.

II, lxxxii

 

NO FEE, NO FUCK

Though old and ugly you seek a free lay.
Fool:you're willing to put out but not to pay.

 

VII, lxxv


A MISPLACED MUFFLER

 

 

When you recite, our ears would be more apt
For that woolen scarf in which your neck is wrapped!

 


IV, xli


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