Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Loser Girls — Miserarum III:12

Maybe I haven't read this ode right, but it sounds like a love song from the 50s and 60s, chiding the girls who aren't in love cause they don't know the joy and heartache of falling for a guy who's the equivalent of the captain of the football team, which in this case is a wrestler with oiled arms.  Did I forget to mention the mean 'ole father figure? He's there in this poem, as daddy's brother, who in Roman times, put wayward girls back on the straight and narrow by giving them verbera linguae, lashes of the tongue.  It's a fun poem. Play some "Johnny Angel" type song and enjoy this hit about the girl Neobule from the 30s . . . . BC.

The following is more an impression than a translation:

Oh, ohhh, loser girls,
not playing with love
not washing your heartaches away 
with wine
Oh, oh, loser girls
not dying inside every time
the old man starts 

Oh, ohhh, Neobule,
The angel boy of Venus 
steals you away 
from your wool basket and weaving
and your devotion 
to the home ec

Oh, ohhh, Neobule,
This hunk of Liparae 
from Hebrus 
washes his oiled arms
in the waves of the Tiber,
rides better than Bellerophon,
and never loses a fight 
or a race.

He digs throwing 
the javelin at fleeing deer in the open
with herds astir
and is fast at catching
the boar hiding 
in the thick 
                                              translation © 2009 by James Rumford


Est [res] miserarum neque ludum amori dare neque mala vino dulci lavere, aut [res est] verbera linguae patruae metuentes exanimari. 
‹Puer ales Cythereae› tibi qualum aufert. Nitor Hebri Liparaei tibi telas studiumque Minervae operosae [aufert], [o] Neobule, simul umeros unctos in undis Tiberinis lavit. 
[Hebrus est] eques melior Bellerophonte ipso, neque pugno neque pede segni victus; catus idem cervos, grege agitato, per apertum fugientes, iaculari et celer aprum [in] fruticeto arto latitantem excipere.
[revised March 28, 2015]

 [In prose according to Acronis Commentarium: ales puer Cythereae et nitor Liparei Hebri, simul ut lauit unctos humeros in Tiberinis undis, eques melior ipso Bellorophonte, neque uictus pugno neque segni pede, idem catus iaculari ceruos fugientes per apertum agitato grege, et celer excipere aprum latitantem arto fruticeto, aufert tibi qualum et aufert tibi studium operosae Mineruae.]

Original Ode:

Miserārum est neque amōrī dare lūdum neque dulcī
mala vīnō lavere aut exanimārī metuentıs 
patruae verbera linguae.
tibi quālum Cytherēae puer āles, tibi tēlās
operōsaeque Minervae studium aufert, Neobūlē, 
Liparaeī nitor Hēbrī,
simul unctōs Tiberīnīs umerōs lāvit in undīs,
eques ipsō melior Bellerophontē, neque pugnō 
neque segnī pede victus;
catus īdem per apertum fugientıs agitātō
grege cervōs iaculārī et celer artō latitantem 

  fruticetō excipere aprum.

:: Latin books by James Rumford ::

For all 102 odes purchase Carpe Diem, Horace De-Poetizedfor $11.50 at 

For a Latin translation of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer at $12, click here: 

To find out more about Carpe Diem go to the blog of March 26, 2015; 
for more about Pericla Thomae Sawyer, go to the blog of November 22, 2016.

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