Where are the eagles and trumpets?
Where are the thighs of Corinna?
These Geats(1) are all hairy and warlike
And drink while demanding their dinner!
They blow on their horns in the morning
They swallow down mead by the barrel
They’re crude and they’re rude and they eat awful food
And they don’t wear the proper apparel.
The wind is so cold off the Pontic
The singing so loud and discordant
And the rain chills me twice when it comes down like ice
And my wits are becoming quite mordant.
Oh Caesar was mean to expel me
To this place where they valorize slaughter
For expressing some texts that were sexy
And having it off with his daughter! (2)
I don’t sing of heroes and monsters
But of picking up girls in the Forum
And gods who change shape for a nice bit of rape
All rendered with perfect decorum.
These Sarmatian poems are weird
Awallow with alliteration
Their Jupiter’s name is Old One Eye
They say he looks after their nation.
They once had a nice god called Baldur
But somebody offed him of course
I try to be jolly but they’re melancholy
And drunken and trousered and Norse.
I don’t know the way to Valhalla
They don’t know the right way to Rome
They say they’ve a bridge made of rainbows
But I only want to go home!
Footnote 1: No excuses, but he says they’re Geats — well, he says they speak Getic and that he’s learned it, all right?
Footnote 2: Actually it wasn’t Augustus’s daughter Ovid was involved with but his granddaughter, Julilla to Graves and Julia the Younger to sober classicists.
8th November 2017