Good work you’ll find, some poor, and much that’s worse,
It takes all sorts to make a book of verse.

[Sunt bona, sunt quaedam mediocria, sunt mala plura
quae legis hic: aliter non fit, Avite, liber.]

Marcus Valerius Martial
Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 1, epigram 16 (1.16) (AD 85-86) [tr. Pott & Wright (1921)]

"To Avitus." (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Some things are good, indifferent some, some naught,
You read: a book can't otherwise be wrote.
[tr. Killigrew (1695)]

Here's some good things, some middling, more bad, you will see:
Else a book, my Avitus, it never could be.
[tr. Elphinston (1782), 12.6]

Some of my epigrams are good, some moderately so, more bad: there is no other way, Avitus, of making a book.
[tr. Amos (1858), 2.23 (cited as 1.17)]

Of the epigrams which you read here, some are good, some middling, many bad: a book, Avitus, cannot be made in any other way.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]

Here you will read some few good things, while some
Are mediocre, most are bad: 'tis thus
That every book's compiled.
[ed. Harbottle (1897)]

There are good things, there are some indifferent, there are more things bad that you read here. Not otherwise, Avitus, is a book produced.
[tr. Ker (1919)]

Good work you’ll find, some poor, and much that’s worse;
It takes all sorts to make a book of verse.
[tr. Pott & Wright (1921)]

Some things are good, some fair, but more you'll say
Are bad herein -- all books are made that way!
[tr. Duff (1929)]

Some of these epigrams are good,
Some mediocre, many bad.
Otherwise, it is understood,
A bookful of poems cannot be had.
[tr. Marcellino (1968)]

Among these lines you'll find a few
that are rather good, more that are only fair,
and a lot that are bad.
From that, Avitus, it may be deduced
just how a book is produced.
[tr. Bovie (1970)]

Some good, some middling, and some bad
You’ll find here. They are what I had.
[tr. Cunningham (1971)]

Some lines in here are good, some fair,
And most are frankly rotten;
No other kind of book, Avitus,
Can ever be begotten.
[tr. Wender (1980)]

There are good things that you read here, and some indifferent, and more bad. Not otherwise, Avitus, is a book made.
[tr. Shackleton Bailey (1993)]

Some good things here, and some not worth a look.
For this is that anomaly, a book.
[tr. Wills (2007)]

Some of my poems are good, some
not up to scratch, some
That’s how it is with most books,
if the truth were told.
Who tells the truth about truth, my dear?
Make way for the judge and the jester.
[tr. Kennelly (2008), "How It Is"]

You'll read some good things here, some fair, more worse.
There's no way else to make a book of verse.
[tr. McLean (2014)]

You're reading good poems here, Avitus -- and a few that are so-so, and a lot that are bad; a book doesn't happen any other way.
[tr. Nisbet (2015)]

Some good, some so-so, most of them naught!
Well, if not worse, the book may still be bought.

Added on 1-Oct-21 | Last updated 19-Jan-24
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