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Oliver Moody, commended (18-and-under)
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Copa Surisca (ed. Garrod)


Copa Surisca, caput Graeca redimita mitella,
crispum sub crotalo docta mouere latus,
ebria fumosa saltat lasciua taberna,
ad cubitum raucos excutiens calamos.
‘quid iuuat aestiuo defessum puluere abesse
quam potius bibulo decubuisse toro?
sunt topia et kalybae, cyathi, rosa, tibia, chordae,
et triclia umbrosis frigida harundinibus.
en et, Maenalio quae garrit dulce sub antro,
rustica pastoris fistula in ore sonat.
est et uappa, cado nuper defusa picato,
et trepidans rauco murmure riuos aquae;
sunt etiam croceo uiolae de flore corollae
sertaque purpurea lutea mixta rosa,
et quae uirgineo libata Achelois ab amne
lilia uimineis attulit in calathis;
sunt et caseoli, quos iuncea fiscina siccat,
sunt autumnali cerea pruna die,
castaneaeque nuces et suaue rubentia mala.
est hic munda Ceres, est Amor, est Bromius;
sunt et mora cruenta et lentis uua racemis
et pendet iunco caeruleus cucumis.
est tuguri custos, armatus falce saligna,
sed non et uasto est inguine terribilis.
huc kalybita ueni. lassus iam sudat asellus,
parce illi: Vestae delicium est asinus.
nunc cantu celebri rumpunt arbusta cicadae,
nunc uaria in gelida sede lacerta latet:
si sapis, aestiuo recubans nunc prolue uitro,
seu uis cristalli ferre nouos calices.
hic age pampinea fessus requiesce sub umbra
et grauidum roseo necte caput strophio,
oscula decerpens tenerae formosa puellae—
a pereat cui sunt prisca supercilia.
quid cineri ingrato seruas bene olentia serta?
anne coronato uis lapide ista tegi?
pone merum et talos. pereat qui crastina curat.
mors aurem uellens ‘uiuite’, ait, ‘uenio.’


Appendix Vergiliana
The Copa Surisca from the Appendix Vergiliana
The Syrian Dancer - an Augustan Farce


Syrian dancer, hair Greek-styled
Trained to twist those snaking hips
Heady, lusty, through this dive
Clatt'ring castanets she trips…

“What avail, my friend, to stay,
When you're parched by summer's dust,
Rather than to come away,
And on this divan slake your lust?

Here are glasses, goblets, ladles,
Roses strewn and shrill reed flutes,
Shadow-blazoned shady tables,
Gentle bowers charm'd with lutes.

And hark! The country shepherd's fife
That chatters sweet with rustic voice,
Cries from his lips, and soft wine drips
Poured fresh from pitch-sealed jars - rejoice!

Gurgling with the babbling stream,
The riverbank invites you bide,
And crocus crowns of saffron gleam
By garlands blush'd with roses blithe.

And lilies from the virgin brook
The flow'rs that Achelois took
In wicker baskets, hands upraised
She gives to you: you're tempted, nay?

And little cheeses, wrapped in rush,
September's waxy-textured plums,
Apples mantling, sweet chestnuts,
Ceres, Dionysus, Love!

All are here, with mulberries stain'd
A blood-red hue, and grapes array'd
In bustling clusters, and, encumber'd,
The stem droops with the blue cucumber.

Here's Priapus, the cot-ward proud,
Standing with his sickle-blade,
Be not afraid! Though well-endowed,
He'll never touch the rustic maid.

Hither now, my vagrant priest,
Your sweat-streaked donkey's tired,
So spare your mount, for of all beasts,
The ass is Vesta's most admired.

Now sweet cicadas burst the groves
In teeming choirs with tenors shrill,
And now the dappled lizard roves
No more outside his burrow's chill.

Be wise! Recline, and bathe in wine,
From brimming cups or crystalware,
Here, come! Lay down beneath the vine,
With roseate headband bind your hair,

And from this maiden pluck a kiss,
For plenty fall from that sweet bough,
If anyone takes this amiss,
Then stuff them! Curse their prudish brow!

Why preserve those fragrant blooms,
To decorate your thankless ash?
To wreathe them round your sombre tomb,
As tribute to your dead panache?

Get out the wine and tumbling die,
Forsake your troubles: stuff the morrow!
Death tweaks your ear: ‘I'm coming nigh,
So live today and drown your sorrow!’”


Translated from the Latin by Oliver Moody
  [Commentary on the poem by the translator]   



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