I praise your body’s beauty. “Quite enough,”
Galla, you say, “it’s better in the buff.”
Let’s go a-bathing then, but you decline.
Galla, are you afraid you won’t like mine?

[Cum faciem laudo, cum miror crura manusque,
Dicere, Galla, soles ‘Nuda placebo magis,’
Et semper vitas communia balnea nobis.
Numquid, Galla, times, ne tibi non placeam?]

Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 3, epigram 51 (3.51) [tr. Barger]

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

When, Galla, thy face, hands, and legs I admire,
Thou say'st, I, when naked more pleasing shall be.
Yet, one common bath, I full vainly require:
Dost fear that I shall not be pleasing to thee?
[tr. Elphinston (1782), Book 4, Part 3 ep. 38]

When I praise your face, when I admire your limbs and hands,
You tell me, Galla, "In nature's garments I shall please you still better."
Yet you always avoid the same baths with myself!
Do you fear, Galla, that I shall not please you?
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]

When I compliment your face, when I admire your legs and hands,
You are accustomed to say, Galla: "Naked I shall please you more,"
And yet you continually avoid taking a bath with me.
Surely you are not afraid, Galla, that I shall not please you?
[tr. Ker (1919)]

Whene'er I praise your legs and arms,
Your eyes and rosy cheeks admire,
You whisper low -- "My hidden charms
A deeper wonder will inspire."
And yet whenever I suggest
A bath together, you say no,
Perhaps you fear that when undressed
Without my clothes I shall not do.
[tr. Pott & Wright (1921)]

When I praise your face and lovely hands
Or to your legs allude,
This is what you always say:
"I'm nicer in the nude."
And yet you constantly decline
To go to the Baths with me.
Are you afraid you'll be displeased
With my own nudity?
[tr. Marcellino (1968)]

When I say how I like your face, Galla,
and admire your hands and your legs
you observe "I'm even nicer in the nude."
But you don't go to the baths when I do.
Are you afraid to look at me?
[tr. Bovie (1970)]

When I praise your face and admire your legs and hands, Galla, you are apt to say: "You'll like me better naked." And yet you always avoid taking a bath with me. Can it be, Galla, that you are afraid you may not like me?
[tr. Shackleton Bailey (1993)]

I praise your face and figure as divine
"But if you saw me nude -- I really shine"
Yet rather than shed clothes you seek distraction
Because a letdown will be my reaction?
[tr. Wills (2007)]

When I admire your face and legs and hands,
"You'll like me better nude," you always tease.
Yet, Galla, you won't bathe with me in public.
Am I the one you fear will fail to please?
[tr. McLean (2014)]

Added on 15-Oct-21 | Last updated 7-Mar-23
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