A letter to a friend of the Roman Martial

today windy, and the waves are cresting.
Autumn soon, All changes in the district.
Changing the colors of the touching, Posthuma,
The costume change at a friend.
Virgo flatters to a certain limit, you will not go elbow Next, or knees.
How is joyful, beautiful outside the body:
Nor embrace impossible , no changes!
* * *
Send you , Posthuma,these books.
In the capital? gently stele? Sleep is not tough?
How is Caesar, what is he doing? All intrigue?
All intrigue, probably, to obzhorstvo.
I sit in his garden, burning lamp.
no girlfriend , or servants, or acquaintances.
Rather weak and the strong of this world, except in accordance with buzzing insects.
* * *
There is a merchant from Asia. Tolkovыm
He was a merchant - Business, but not visible.
he died quickly: fever. on trading
He works here sailed, not for this.
Next to it - Legionnaire, a rough quartz.
He battles empire glorified.
How many times could kill! And the old man died.
Even here there is no, Posthuma, rules.
* * *
Let indeed, Posthuma, chicken is a bird,
But with chicken brains enough grief.
If you fell in the Empire born,
Better to live in a remote province near the sea.
And away from Caesar, and vyyugi.
Fawn is not necessary, shakes, rush.
talking about, that all governors - thieves?
But the thief dearer to me, than blood-sucker.
* * *
This downpour to wait with you , gether,
I agree, but let's not trade:
Take sesterces from covering the body-all equal, that demand from the roof shingles.
flow,tell? But where a puddle?
I left to puddle, indifferently.
Here you will find yourself some husband,
He will proceed on the bedspread.
* * *
So we have lived more than half,
As I said before the old slave tavern:
"We are looking, We see only the ruins "
Sight, of course , very barbaric, but true.
I was in gorah.Seychas potter with a big bouquet.
Ll Find great pitcher, pour water to them ....
How is it in Libya, My Posthumous, - or where you are there?
Is is still fighting?
* * *
remember,Posthuma, at the governor sister?
thin, but with full legs.
You slept with her yet ... recently became a priestess.
priestess, Posthuma, and communicates with the gods.
come, popem wine, a bite of bread. or slivami. Tell me lime. I'll lay you in the garden under clear skies and tell you, both are called constellations.
* * *
soon, Posthuma, your friend, loving Addition,
debt pay its longtime subtraction.
Take out a savings cushion,
Down below, but enough for the funeral.
Go to crow his mare
The house heteras, for city our wall.
Give them a price, for which loved,
So for the same price and mourned.
* * *
Green laurel, reaching to tremble.
the door is ajar, dusty little window.
abandoned chair, left box,
the cloth, absorbed the midday sun.
Pont noise behind the black fence of pines.
Someone struggling boat with the wind at Cape.
On the cracked bench Pliny the Elder.
Drozd schebechet hair in Cypress.

March 1972

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Joseph Brodsky
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