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This poem is taken from PN Review 220, Volume 41 Number 2, November - December 2014.

Epigrams translated by Brent Southgate Martial

Despite the speed and danger of your juggling,
Agathinus, you can’t get that shield to fall.
It follows you against your will – returning
Through the air to sit on foot, or back, or hair,
Or fingertip. The stage may be slippery
With perfume and a gusty wind may tear
At the canvas overhead, but those boyish limbs
Keep steady as the shield tours calmly round them.
Even if you wished to blunder, something would stop you:
It would take your utmost skill to get that shield to fall.


Into your care, my dear dead parents,
I commend this darling girl, the little Erotion,
Lest she be frightened of the dark shades
And the monstrous jaws of Cerberus the hound.
She would have just passed her sixth winter,
Had she been granted only six more days.

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