David Berman (4 January 1967 / Williamsburg, Virginia)
Catallus CX - A Translation
Alfie, honest mistresses are lauded;
The presents they receive they earn, but you,
Who lead me on with lies, leave me defrauded.
My anti-mistress, brazen what you do;
You keep my gifts but, suddenly demure,
Renege on my reward. Either be chaste
Before accepting fees or be the whore
That you pretend, your total body placed
Where just your mouth is. Greed and 'virtue' make
Strange bedfellows, each sure the other's fake.
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