Martial 14.37-41: Apophoreta
by Tom Gardner
XXXVII — Scrinium
Constrictos nisi das mihi libellos,
Admittam tineas trucesque blattas.
XXXVIII — Fasces calamorum
Dat chartis habiles calamos Memphitica tellus;
Texantur reliqua tecta palude tibi.
XXXIX — Lucerna cubicularis
Dulcis conscia lectuli lucerna,
Quidquid vis facias licet, tacebo.
XL — Cicindela
Ancillam tibi sors dedit lucernae,
Totas quae vigil exigit tenebras.
XLI — Lucerna polymyxos
Inlustrem cum tota meis convivia flammis
Totque geram myxos, una lucerna vocor.
37 — Bookcase
If you don’t give me tightly-packed books,
I’ll let gnawing worms and savage moths in.
38 — Bundles of pens
The land of Memphis gives reed-pens handy on paper;
Let your roof be thatched from other swamp-reed.
39 — Bedroom lamp
I am a lamp, privy to your sweet bed.
You may do whatever you like; I shall hold my peace.
40 — Candle
The lot has granted you a handmaid to your lamp;
she stays awake right through the dark hours.
41 — Lamp with many wicks
Even though I illuminate whole dinner parties with my flames
and bear so many wicks, I am still called a single lamp.