Queraris

closeup-of-an-older-woman-s-eye

Risus eram positis inter convivia mensis,
et de me poterat quilibet esse loquax.
quinque tibi potui servire fideliter annos:
ungue meam morso saepe querere fidem.
nil moveor lacrimis: ista sum captus ab arte;
semper ab insidiis, Cynthia, flere soles.
flebo ego discedens, sed fletum iniuria vincit:
tu bene conveniens non sinis ire iugum.
limina iam nostris valeant lacrimantia verbis,
nec tamen irata ianua fracta manu.
at te celatis aetas gravis urgeat annis,
et veniat formae ruga sinistra tuae!
vellere tum cupias albos a stirpe capillos,
iam speculo rugas increpitante tibi,
exclusa inque vicem fastus patiare superbos,
et quae fecisti facta queraris anus!
has tibi fatalis cecinit mea pagina diras:
eventum formae disce timere tuae!
(Propertius 3.25)

I used to be a laughing-stock when the tables were set for the feast, and anyone could be witty at my expense. For five years I managed to serve you faithfully: now you will oft bite your nails and mourn the loss of my loyalty. Your tears move me not: it was that trick which ensnared me; always when you weep, Cynthia, you plan to deceive. I shall when I go, but wrongs outlast tears: it is you who do not allow a well-matched team to run. Farewell the threshold still tearful at my grievances, and farewell the door, never, in spite of all, shattered by my angry fists! May old age oppress you with the burden of the years you have dissembled, and may ugly wrinkles come upon your beauty. Then may you wish to tear out the white hairs by the roots now that the mirror chides you wil your wrinkles. Shut out yourself in turn, may you suffer another’s haughty scorn and, now a crone, complain that what you once did yourself is done to you. Such are the deadly curses my page prophesies for you: learn to dread the end that awaits your beauty. (tr. George Patrick Goold)

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