Marrucinus Asinius, your left hand
you use not beautifully: in joke and in wine
you take the napkins of the careless people.
You think this is witty? It[humor] escapes you, fool:
the thing is as tacky and as unattractive as can be.
You don't believe me? Believe your brother Pollio,
who would want to exchange your thefts
even for a talent—for he is a boy
stuffed of charm and wit.
Therefore either expect three hundred poems,
or send my napkin back to me,
which doesn't move me with value,
but because it is a souvenir of my drinking buddy.
For Fabullus and Veranius sent the Saetaban cloths from Hiberia
to me as a gift;
it is necessary that I love these
as I love my dear Veranius and Fabullus.
Marrūcīne Asinī, manū sinistrā
nōn bellē ūteris: in iocō atque vīnō
tollis lintea neglegentiōrum.
Hoc salsum esse putās? Fugit tē, inepte:
quamvīs sordida rēs et invenusta est.
Nōn crēdis mihi? Crēde Polliōnī
frātrī, quī tua fūrta vel talentō
mūtārī velit—est enim lepōrum
differtus puer ac facētiārum.
Quārē aut hendecasyllabōs trecentōs
exspectā, aut mihi linteum remitte,
quod mē nōn movet aestimātiōne,
vērum est mnēmosynum meī sodālis.
Nam sūdāria Saetaba ex Hibērīs
mīsērunt mihi mūnerī Fabullus
et Vērānius; haec amem necesse est
ut Vērāniolum meum et Fabullum.