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Wednesday: January 18, 2006

An Epigram of Martial

Filed under: — site admin @ 12:27 AM GMT-0500

Amissum non flet cum sola est Gellia patrem,
    si quis adest, iussae prosiliunt lacrimae.
non luget quisquis laudari, Gellia, quaerit;
    ille dolet vere qui sine teste dolet.

In private she mourns not the late-lamented;
If someone’s by her tears leap forth on call.
Sorrow, my dear, is not so easily rented.
They are true tears that without witness fall.

This is Martial 1.33, not precisely a joke, but neatly translated by J. V. Cunningham. The meter is elegiac couplets.