When I would send such trifles as I can;
You stop me short; you arbitrary man!
But I submit. Both may our orders give;
And do what both like best: let me receive.
[Natali tibi, Quinte, tuo dare parva volebam
Munera; tu prohibes: inperiosus homo es.
Parendum est monitis, fiat quod uterque volemus
Et quod utrumque iuvat: tu mihi, Quinte, dato.]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 9, epigram 53 (9.53) (AD 94) [tr. Hay (1755), ep. 54]
(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:
On your birth-day, Quintus, I wished to make you a small present: you forbade me; you are imperious. I must obey your injunction: let that be done which we both desire, and which will please us both. Do you, Quintus, make me a present.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1897)]
Your birthday I wished to observe with a gift;
Your forbade and your firmness is known.
Every man to his taste:
I remark with some haste,
May the Third is the date of my own.
[tr. Nixon (1911)]
On your birthday, Quintus, I was wishing to give you a small present; you must forbid me; you are an imperious person! I must obey your monition. Let be done what both of us wish, and what pleases both. Do you, Quintus, make me a present!
[tr. Ker (1919), Ep. 53]
I wished to send you for your birthday
A gift, a small thing really.
But you said, "No, I want no gift,"
And meant it most sincerely.
Let both our wishes be esteemed.
Why invite a rift
Between us? When my birthday comes,
Please send me a gift.
[tr. Marcellino (1968)]
I wished to give you a trifling birthday present, Quintus. You forbid it. you are an imperious fellow; I must obey your admonition. Let it be as both of us will wish, as gives both of us pleasure: you give me something, Quintus.
[tr. Shackleton Bailey (1993)]
Added on 10-Sep-21 | Last updated 27-Nov-23
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