Talia nequiquam perarantem plena reliquit 565
cera manum, summusque in margine versus adhaesit.
Protinus inpressa signat sua crimina gemma,
quam tinxit lacrimis (linguam defecerat umor),
deque suis unum famulis pudibunda vocavit
et pavidum blandita “fer has, fidissime, nostro”– 570
dixit, et adiecit longo post tempore “fratri.”
Cum daret, elapsae manibus cecidere tabellae.
Omine turbata est: misit tamen. Apta minister
tempora nactus adit traditque latentia verba.
Attonitus subita iuvenis Maeandrius ira 575
proicit acceptas lecta sibi parte tabellas
vixque manus retinens trepidantis ab ore ministri
“dum licet, o vetitae scelerate libidinis auctor,
effuge!” ait: “qui, si nostrum tua fata pudorem
non traherent secum, poenas mihi morte dedisses.”
Here when she dropped the tablet from her hand,
it was so full of fond words, which were doomed
to disappointment, that the last line traced
the edge: and without thinking of delay,
she stamped the shameful letter with her seal,
and moistened it with tears (her tongue failed her
for moisture). Then, hot-blushing, she called one
of her attendants, and with timid voice
said, coaxing, “My most trusted servant, take
these tablets to my–” after long delay
she said, “my brother.” While she gave the tablets
they suddenly slipped from her hands and fell.
Although disturbed by this bad omen, she
still sent the letter, which the servant found
an opportunity to carry off.
He gave the secret love-confession. This
her brother, grandson of Maeander, read
but partly, and with sudden passion threw
the tablets from him. He could barely hold
himself from clutching on the throat of her
fear-trembling servant; as, enraged, he cried,
“Accursed pander to forbidden lust,
be gone!–before the knowledge of your death
is added to this unforeseen disgrace!”