Marcus Valerius Martialis
Book 12, Line 63 -
Corduba laetior Venafro,
Histra nec minus absoluta testa,
Albi quae superas oves Galaesi
Nullo murice nec cruore mendax,
Sed tinctis gregibus colore vivo:
Corrumpit sine talione caelebs,
Dic vestro, rogo, sit pudor poetae,
Nec gratis recitet meos libellos.
Ferrem, si faceret bonus poeta,
Cui possem dare mutuos dolores.
Caecus perdere non potest quod aufert:
Nil est deterius latrone nudo:
Nil securius est malo poeta.
LXIII. TO CORDOVA.
Cordova, spot more
delightful than rich Venafrum, unsurpassed in fertility by the
olive-bearing Istria,3 richer in sheep than the pellucid
Galaesus,4 and that deceives not with purple or red dye,
but have your flocks tinged by nature; command, I pray you, that
poet of yours to have some sense of modesty, and not to recite my
compositions without having paid me for them. I could have borne his
proceedings, if he had been a good poet, on whom I could have made
reprisal, but he is a bachelor who destroys my peace without giving
me the opportunity of revenge. A blind man cannot be retaliated upon
for the loss of sight of which he deprives another. Nobody is more
reckless than a plunderer, who has nothing to lose; nobody more
secure than a bad poet.
3 "Not less perfect than the (olive) jar of Histria,"
The best olives were produced at Vanafrum in Campania, the next
best in Istria.
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November 01, 2012; Updated
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