BkI:VIII: To Lydia: Stop Ruining Sybaris!
Lydia, by all the gods,
say why you’re set on ruining poor Sybaris, with passion:
why he suddenly can’t stand
the sunny Campus, he, once tolerant of the dust and sun:
why he’s no longer riding
with his soldier friends, nor holds back the Gallic mouth, any longer,
with his sharp restraining bit.
Why does he fear to touch the yellow Tiber? Why does he keep
away from the wrestler’s oil
like the viper’s blood: he won’t appear with arms bruised by weapons,
he who was often noted
for hurling the discus, throwing the javelin out of bounds?
Why does he hide, as they say
Achilles, sea-born Thetis’ son, hid, before sad Troy was ruined,
lest his male clothing
had him dragged away to the slaughter, among the Lycian troops?
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