You ask me how my farm can pay,
Since little it will bear;
It pays me thus — ‘Tis far away
And you are never there.

[Quid mini reddat ager quaeris, Line, Nomentanus?
Hoc mini reddit ager: te, Line, non video.]

Marcus Valerius Martial
Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 2, epigram 38 (2.38) (AD 86) [tr. Pott & Wright (1921)]

Original Latin. Alternate translations:

Linus, dost ask what my field yields to me?
Even this profit, that I ne'er see thee.
[tr. Fletcher (1656)]

What my farm yields me, doest thou urge to know?
This, that I see not thee, when there I go.
[tr. Killigrew (1695)]

Do you ask what profit my Nomentan estate brings me, Linus? My estate brings me this profit, that I do not see you, Linus.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1860)]

Ask you what my Nomentane fields
Can yield me, Linus, bleak and few?
For me my farm this, Linus, yields;--
That, when I'm there, I'm rid of you.
[tr. Webb (1879)]

You ask what I grow on my Sabine estate.
A reliable answer is due.
I grow on that soil --
Far from urban turmoil --
Very happy at not seeing you.
[tr. Nixon (1911)]

Do you ask, Linus, what my Nomentan farm returns me? This my land returns me: I don't see you, Linus.
[tr. Ker (1919)]

You ask of my Nomentan farm
How such a barren waste can charm.
One reason is, I find no trace
There, Linus, of your ugly face.
[tr. Francis & Tatum (1924), #83]

Linus, you mock my distant farm,
And ask what good it is to me?
Well, it has got at least one charm --
When there, from Linus I am free!
[tr. Duff (1929)]

You don't see what I see, you say,
In living here so far away?
What I see, Linus, is a view
In which I see no sign of you.
[tr. Marcellino (1968)]

What return on my real estate at Nomentum?
Up there i get out of seeing you, Linus.
That's what I get out of it.
[tr. Bovie (1970)]

You ask me what I get
Out of my country place.
The profit, gross or net,
Is never seeing your face.
[tr. Michie (1972)]

Linus, you ask me what I get out of my land near Nomentum. This is what I get out of the land: I don't see you, Linus.
[tr. Shackleton Bailey (1993)]

You ask what my estate at Nomentum produces for me? It produces this: that I don't see you, Linus.
[tr. Williams (2003)]

You ask me why I like the country air.
I never meet you there.
[tr. Kennelly (2004), "The Reason"]

You ask what I see in my farm near Nomentum, Linus?
What I see in it, Linus, is: from there I can’t see you.
[tr. Kline (2006)]

What, Linus, can my farm be minus
When it successfully lacks Linus?
[tr. Wills (2007)]

You ask me why I like the country air.
I never meet you there.
[tr. Kennelly (2008)]

What yield does my Nomentan farmstead bear?
Linus, I don’t see you when I am there.
[tr. McLean (2014)]

You're wondering what the yield is from my farm at Nomentum, Linus? Here's the yield form my farm: Linus, I don't have to look at you.
[tr. Nisbet (2015)]

You ask me why I love fresh country air?
You’re not befouling it there.
[tr. Burch (c. 2017)]

You ask me why I choose to live elsewhere? You're not there.
[tr. Burch (c. 2017)]

Ask you what my Nomentane field brings me?
This, Linus, 'mongst the rest, I ne'er see thee.
[tr. Wright]

You wonder if my farm pays me its share?
It pays me this: I do not see you there.
[tr. Oliver]

You ask me, Roger, what I gain
By living on this barren plain.
This credit to the spot is due,
I live there without seeing you.
[tr. Cowper]

Added on 2-Jul-21 | Last updated 27-Nov-23
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