The Patricians had a gathering On the square by the Capitol To enjoy a bit of blathering And an equal bit of alcohol. No chit-chat in sobriety! One Patrician, Marcus, didn’t think twice: Drank nectar to impropriety And got greatly “overnectarized.” By the ancient column Marcus sat. Then he let out a profanity. “Listen, brothers! With my wife,” he said, “I must split to keep my sanity! “She is fooling with ‘em poets now, She is mad about ‘em theaters, Cares only ‘bout ‘em tickets now To the visiting gladiators. “She complains that I am cultureless, Claims that all her pleasures I’ve denied! Yeah, like Fury, she is furious, With her sister standing at her side. “They keep hushing me in my own place... Would you pour me a little more? Heck, ‘em slaves now giggle in my face! If there was a war, I’d go to war. “So to hell with the traditions. I can’t handle all of this at once. I’m losing it, Patricians! Yes, I even drink with Plebeians! “She can have my house in Palestine (If she takes the sister witch with her). And with that small inheritance of mine I will get me a hetaera whore. “Whores are cheaper in their quality But with poetry they ain’t mad. Yes, hetaeras lack morality But at least their relatives are dead! “Maybe by the grace of Gods of Rome All my misery will finally end...” The Patricians then stumbled home Feeling jealous of their drunken friend.
© Vadim Astrakhan. Translation, 2017
© Vadim Astrakhan. Performance, 2017