When Tony Daniel, Baen editor, requested Dave to read a martial poem for the Baen Free Radio Hour podcast, Dave took it literally and recorded a poem by Marcus Valerius Martialis. He read the original Latin poem (Book 4 #18) and then his own translation. It’s now archived in the podcast of March 20, 2015 at 42′ 54″.
Here is the text of the poem and Dave’s translation:
QUA VICINA PLUIT VIPSANI PORTA COLUMNIS
ET MADET ADSIDUO LUBRICUS IMBRE LAPIS
IN IUGULUM PUERI QUI ROSCIDA TECTA SUBIBAT,
DECIDIT HIBERNO PRAEGRAVIS UNDA GELU:
CUMQUE PEREGISSET MISERI CRUDELIA FATA
TABUIT IN CALIDO VOLNERE MUCRO TENER
QUID NON SAEVA SIBI VOLUIT FORTUNA LICERE?
AUT UBI NON MORS EST, SI JUGULATIS AQUAE?
It was raining near the entrance to the Portico of Agrippa and the stones were slippery from the constant downpour. A boy ducked under the dripping overhang.
As he did so, a huge mass of winter ice plunged down into his throat. After the sharp point had accomplished the poor fellow’s cruel death, it melted in the hot blood from his wound.
Is there nothing beyond the cruel whims of Fortune? Where is not Death lurking, if your throat can be cut by rainwater?