O utinam liceat collo complexa tenere
braciola et teneris oscula ferre labe(l)lis
i nunc ventis tua gaudia, pupula, crede
crede mihi, levis est natura virorum
saepe ego cu(m) media vigilare(m) perdita nocte
haec mecum medita(n)s: multos Fortuna quos supstulit alte
hos modo proiectos subito praecipitesque premit
sic Venus ut subito coiunxit corpora amantum
dividit lux et se (paries? quid? ama?)
Oh, if only I (fem.) could hold my gentle arms around you
and press my kisses on your tender lips. Go now, girl, confide your
joys to the winds:
believe me, flighty is the nature of men. These things I’ve often
lying awake in despair in the middle of the night: many has Fortune
raised on high
then suddenly let fall headlong, oppressing them with worst trouble.
Likewise, though Venus in a moment unites the bodies of lovers,
the first light divides them and [you (Venus) would separate their love.] (tr. John G. Younger)
Note: I don’t know on what reconstruction of the text the last few words of Mr. Younger’s translation are based.
V(ixit) an(nos) LII
d(is) M(anibus) Ti(beri) Claudi Secundi
hic secum habet omnia
balnea vina Venus
nostra set vitam faciunt b(alnea) v(ina) V(enus)
karo contubernal(i) fec(it)
Merope Caes(aris) et sibi
et suis p(osterisque) e(orum)
He lived 52 years. To the spirits of the departed Tiberius Claudius Secundus. Here he has everything with him. Baths, wine and Venus [i.e. sex or love] corrupt our bodies, but they make life – baths, wine and Venus. Merope, freedwoman of Caesar made this for her dear companion, herself and their family and their descendants. (tr. Valerie Hope)
Hospes, adhuc tumuli ni meias ossa prec[antur,
nam, si vis (h)uic gratior esse, caca.
Urticae monumenta vides; discede, cacator.
non est hic tutum culu(m) aperire tibi.
Stranger, the bones ask you not to piss at this tomb, for, if you want to be more agreeable to this man, shit. You see Nettle’s* tomb; away from here, shitter; it is not safe for you to open your bowels here.
* The point is a pun on the name of the hypothetical deceased (for the name Urtica see CIL 5.3637; it is also known as a female name); as the cacator squats, he is in danger of being stung by an urtica, a nettle.