Alas, the day’s wasted like this, and not without prayer:
‘O when shall I see you, my farm? When will I be free
To breathe the delightful forgetfulness of life’s cares,
Among ancient classics, with sleep and idle hours?
When will they set before me beans, Pythagoras’ kin,
And those little cabbages oiled with thick bacon-grease?
O heavenly night-time dinners, when I and my friends
Eat beside my own Lar, and feed jostling servants
On left-over offerings. Each guest drinks as he wishes
Large glasses or small, free from foolish rules, whether
He downs the strong stuff, nobly, or wets his whistle
In more carefree style. And so the conversation starts.
Not about other men’s houses in town, their country
Villas, or whether Lepos dances well or not: no,
We talk about things one should know, that matter more:
Whether it’s wealth or character makes men happier:
Whether self-interest or virtue make men friends:
And the nature of the good, and its highest form.