Roman Lyrics

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 - 43 BCE)

"For walk where we will, we tread upon some story."

Decimis Iunius Juvenalis (60 - 117)

"Who will watch the watchers?"

"Many men commit the same crime but face a different end: one man gets the cross, another the crown."

"Few people can distinguish between true good things and their opposites; in city or war camp, we seek waht will be our ruin."

"Even those who don't want to kill anybody would like the power to do it."

"Postumus, once you were sane; are you really taking a wife?"

"A traveller with empty pockets can whistle in a robber's face."

"Among us, the god most revered is Wealth, but so far it has no temple of its own."

"A man's word of honor is worth as much as the cash he has in his safe."

"The wrath of the gods may be great, but it certainly is slow."

Marcus Valerius Martialis (40 - 104)

"Thais' teeth are black, Laecania's are white.
What is the difference? Thais' are her own."

"In your fine new clothes you mock my scruffy toga.
It may be scruffy, Zoilus, but it's paid for."

"On the tombs of seven husbands she inscribed:
'Chloe made this'.
What could be more honest?"

"You've just buried your seventh rich wife in that field.
No one gets more out of a farm than you do."

"Diaulus used to be a doctor, now he's an undertaker.
His clients still end up in the same state."

"Paula, you want to marry Priscus; you're wise.
Priscus doesn't want to marry you; he's also wise."

"All of the friends she had Lycoris has burried.
I keep hoping she'll befriend my wife."

Titus Maccius Plautus (255 - 184 BCE)

"No cavalry or infantry has the gall to monouver as coolly as a woman can."

"My wife torments me. Why? She won't die."

"I felt more worrow in my lover's going than in his coming."

"For Heaven's sake, why are you and cheerfulness complete strangers?"

"A woman smells best when she doesn't smell at all."

"I've seen hammer with the handles off more clever than he is."

"If a man is poor and not a bad fellow, he's considered worthless; if he is rich and a very bad fellow, he is considered a good client."

"A woman is always better seen than heard."

"I am a rich man as long as I don't pay my creditors."

"The man you want to keep bound to you should be chained by food and drink."

"I don't think anyone knows I love her; I haven't done anything really silly yet."

"Am I to stand idle and unnoticed, so handsome and so heroic, all for nothing?"

"Don't whistle and drink at the same time."

"Idiot of idiots, to trust what is written!"

"It's better to profit by a horible example than to be one."

"Take care that you never declare war on Love."

"The people pass many laws against your kind; you always break them by finding a loophole. To you laws are like boiling water that soon growns cold."

Publilius Syrus (1st century BCE)


"Love, or hate: a woman knows no third."

"Love is not riven out, but slips away."

"Scarcely a god can both love and be wise."

"To take a kindness is to sell your freedom."

"To die at another's will is to die twice."

"A good reputation is more safe than wealth."

"To be reconciled with foes is never safe."

"Danger comes quicker when it is despised."

"War long prepared brings rapid victory."

"Women know how to tell a lie by weeping."

"Kindness is doubled if it is hastened."

"Even a single hair still casts a shadow."

"He whom fate cherishes becomes a fool."

"Dangerous is he who thinks it is safe to die!"

"Poverty needs little: greed needs all."



"Short is my stay, O stranger. Stay and read.
This tomb is not fair, but fair was she it holds.
By her name her parents called her Claudia.
Her husband she loved with all her heart.
She bore two sons, and one of them she left
On earth, the other in the earth she laid.
Her speech was pleasing and her bearing gracious.
She kept house: she spun her wool. I have said. Farewell."

"The rich man builds a house, but the wise a tomb.
For that is but our lodging; this our home.
There for a while we sojourn; here abide."

"I was not, I was; I am not, I would not be."

"I am what you will be."

"I have escaped, O lingering age, your shame."

"Agathe, Aged Five
All my life I played, and all were fond of me,
For, know, I had a boy's look, not a girl's--
Only me parents knew their Agathe--
Close-cut before, behind streamed my red curls.
O feasters all, drink to my name tonight
And say 'Upon her may the earth be light!'"

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