Dum licet, et vernos etiamnum educitis annos,
ludite: eunt anni more fluentis aquae;
nec quae praeteriit, iterum revocabitur unda,
nec quae praeteriit, hora redire potest.
utendum est aetate: cito pede labitur aetas,
nec bona tam sequitur, quam bona prima fuit.
hos ego, qui canent, frutices violaria vidi:
hac mihi de spina grata corona data est.
tempus erit, quo tu, quae nunc excludis amantes,
frigida deserta nocte iacebis anus,
nec tua frangetur nocturna ianua rixa,
sparsa nec invenies limina mane rosa.
(Ovid, Ars Am. 3.61-72)
Be mindful first that old age will come to you:
so don’t be timid and waste any of your time.
Have fun while it’s allowed, while your years are in their prime:
the years go by like flowing waters:
The wave that’s past can’t be recalled again,
the hour that’s past never can return.
Life’s to be used: life slips by on swift feet,
what was good at first, nothing as good will follow.
Those stalks that wither I saw as violets:
from that thorn-bush to me a dear garland was given.
There’ll be a time when you, who now shut out your lover,
will lie alone, and aged, in the cold of night,
nor find your entrance damaged by some nocturnal quarrel,
nor your threshold sprinkled with roses at dawn.
(tr. Tony Kline)