Jon Corelis

Sulpicia: Poems - Poem by Jon Corelis


Love has come at last, and such a love as I
should be more shamed to hide than to reveal.
Cytherea, yielding to my Muse’s prayers,
has brought him here and laid him in my arms.
Venus has kept her promise. Let people talk, who never
themselves have found such joys as now are mine.
I wish that I could send my tablets to my love
unsealed, not caring who might read them first.
The sin is sweet, to mask it for fear of shame is bitter.
I’m proud we’ve joined, each worthy of the other.


My hateful birthday’s come, which must be spent in gloom
in the boring countryside - without Cerinthus!
What’s nicer than the city? What girl would want some cabin,
and the chilly river of Aretium’s fields?
Now do stay put, Messalla; you try too hard to please me:
trips, my uncle, are not always welcome.
My heart and soul will stay behind, although I’m gone,
since you won’t let me act as I would wish.


Guess what? - that gloomy trip is off your girl’s mind.
We’re going to spend my birthday now in Rome!
Now all of us can celebrate that birthday here,
a piece of unexpected luck for you!


I’m glad you take me for granted enough to show me now
what kind of man I almost let possess me.
Go chasing after hookers and spinning-girls and whores:
forget Sulpicia, daughter of Servius.
But I have friends who care, and who will spare no pains
to see that no cheap tart humiliates me.


Do you feel loving care, Cerinthus, for your girl,
since fever now torments her wearied limbs?
Ah, I would not wish to live through this disease
unless I knew you also wished it too;
for what good would it do me to live through this disease,
if you can bear my troubles with calm heart?


As I still hope, my light, to be your fierce desire
as much as it seemed I was the other day,
I’ve never been so foolish in my young life, I swear,
or done one thing that I’ve regretted more,
than going from you last night and leaving you alone,
trying to hide how desperately I love you.

Translated from the Latin by Jon Corelis

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Poem Edited: Tuesday, May 25, 2010

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