Back to war, Venus, after all
these years? Spare me, spare me, I beg you.
I'm not the man I was
in good Cinara's reign. Cruel mother
of the sweet Cupids, stop
driving a long-since-hardened fifty-year-old
with your soft commands. Away with you!
Go and answer the charming prayers of young men.
If you are looking for a proper liver
to roast, it's time for you to go carousing, 10 winged by your lustrous swans, to the home of Paulus Maximus.
He is noble, comely,
not slow to speak for those accused and in distress,
a lad with all the arts,
who will carry far and wide the standards of your wars,
and when he has prevailed
over his rival and laughed at his lavish gifts,
he will set you up in marble
among the Alban lakes under a beam of citrus wood. 20
There will your nostrils breathe
clouds of incense and you will take delight
in mingled notes of lyre
and Berecyntian horn, and reed-pipes too.
There twice a day will boys
and tender maidens praise your godhead,
beating the earth
with shinning feet in triple Salian time.