80. The Charms of Baiae -

B AIAE is happy Venus' golden shore,
Nature's alluring gift, her joy and pride,
And, though a thousand verses I should pour.
Yet must I leave her beauty half-belied.
Is Julius there? Nay, Fortune should deride
My greed if I should pray to meet him there;
And yet might heaven that double boon provide
Julius and Baiae — what a joy it were!

76. The Poet's Award -

Now , Fortune, is this fair in you?
Here's one, no Parthian or Jew,
No abject slave, re-made as knight,
But Roman both by blood and right;
Learned in Greek and Latin, kind,
A trustier friend were hard to find —
Yet he was shivering, while in scarlet
Mule-drivers flaunt. You say " the varlet
Is guilty of a crime"? I know it;
A sad one too — he is a poet .

29. To Sextilianus -

On Saturn's feast you used to send
Me plate, but now my luck is dead,
You give it to your lady friends

My natal day no toga brought,
That customary gift you dock
Because the price of it has bought
Her frock.

How cheap is she, that lady gay,
For not a penny you have lost;
You win her favour and I pay
The cost.

100. To Bassus -

The feast you gave me cost but half a crown,
Yet I must call next day in proper trim
And walk before your chair through half the town
To call on ten old hags of aspect grim.
My toga's worn and shabby I admit,
But half a crown won't buy the like of it.

97. Jealousy -

With jealousy he's like to burst —
What have I done to rouse him so —
Until he cracks with rage accurst?
Rome reads my books — that is the worst
Of all offence to him — and lo!
With jealousy he's like to burst;
But other grudges he has nursed,
I'm pointed out in street and show
Until he cracks with rage accurst
Because the grant is not reversed
That Titus gave me long ago.
With jealousy he's like to burst,

94. To a Doctor -

To me 'tis filthy strychnine you dispense,
Then ask for wine! Why, damn your impudence!
In Homer, Glaucus for a crazy whim
Exchanges gold for bronze — am I like him?
Give a sweet draught to you and take instead
That bitter stuff? The fool is off his head.
Well take it then — but ere you drink it up
Pour a stiff dose of bromide in the cup!

93. A Toast to Domitian -

Pour out six measures from the older cask;
Why dally so? Nay, pour the deathless wine.
" What holy name has letters six, you ask,
Save Caesar"? Aye my thought you can divine;
So in my wreath ten lovely roses twine
For him the builder of the Flavian fane
And give me kisses ten to be a sign
That as a god Sarmaticus doth reign.

92. True Servitude -

" How easy live the free," you say, and brood
Upon your long but easy servitude.
See Gaius tossing on his downy bed;
Your sleep's unbroken tho' the couch be rude;
He pays his call ere chilly dawn be red,
You need not call on him, you sleep instead;
He's deep in debt, hears many a summons grim
From creditors that you need never dread,
You might be tortured at your master's whim;
Far worse the gout that racks his every limb;
Think of the morning qualms, his vicious moods,
Would you for thrice his freedom change with him?


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