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)


Ah nimium faciles aurem praebere puellae,
discite desertae non temere esse bonae!
huic quoque, qui restet, iam pridem quaeritur alter:
experta in primo, stulta cavere potes.
nos quocumque loco, nos omni tempore tecum
sive aegra pariter sive valente sumus.
(Propertius 2.21.15-20)

Ah, ye girls all to ready to lend an ear, learn from being abandoned not to be rashly kind! My girl too has now for days been looking for another lover who will stay: duped by the first one, silly woman, you had better watch out. As for me, at any time, in any place, alike in sickness and in health, my heart belongs to you. (tr. George Patrick Goold)


Charon (Litovshenko)
Aleksandr Litovchenko, Charon carrying souls across the river Styx (1861)

Nocte vagae ferimur, nox clausas liberat umbras,
errat et abiecta Cerberus ipse sera.
luce iubent leges Lethaea ad stagna reverti:
nos vehimur, vectum nauta recenset onus.
nunc te possideant aliae: mox sola tenebo:
mecum eris, et mixtis ossibus ossa teram.
(Propertius 4.7.89-94)

By night we drift abroad, night frees imprisoned shades, and even Cerberus casts aside his chains, and strays. At dawn the law compels us to return to Lethe’s waters: we board, the ferryman counts the cargo boarded. Other women may possess you now: soon I alone shall hold you: with me you will be, and my bones shall press yours in close entwining. (tr. G.P. Goold)