Ferreus es, si stare potest tibi mentula, Flacce,
cum te sex cyathos orat amica gari,
vel duo frusta rogat cybii tenuemve lacertum
nec dignam toto se botryone putat;
cui portat gaudens ancilla paropside rubra
allecem, sed quam protinus illa voret;
aut cum perfricuit frontem posuitque pudorem,
sucida palliolo vellera quinque petit.
at mea me libram foliati poscat amica,
aut virides gemmas sardonychasve pares,
nec nisi prima velit de Tusco Serica vico,
aut centum aureolos sic velut aera roget.
nunc tu velle putas haec me donare puellae?
nolo, sed his ut sit digna puella volo.
(Martial, Ep. 11.27)

You are made of iron, Flaccus, if your cock can stand when your mistress begs you for half a pint of garum or asks for two pieces of tunny or a meagre mackerel and thinks herself unworthy of a whole bunch of grapes; one to whom her maid delightedly carries fish-sauce on a red platter for her to devour immediately; or, when she has rubbed her forehead and laid modesty aside, one who petitions for five greasy fleeces to make a small mantle. Let my mistress on the other hand demand a pound of foliatum* or green gems or matching sardonyxes; let her want none but the finest silks from Tuscan Street, or let her ask me for a hundred gold pieces as if they were copper. Do you now suppose that I am minded to give my girl such things? I am not, but I wish my girl to be worthy of them.

* The foliatum or nardinum was a compound of nard, myrrh, and other aromatic herbs; cf. Pliny N.H. 13.15.

(tr. David Roy Shackleton-Bailey, with his note)

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