Avoiding an Old Man’s Advances

Ausonius, Epigrams XVII:

“Old white-haired Myron asked Lais for a night, and received an immediate rejection. He knew the cause: so he darkened his white head with dark soot. So Myron, with the same face but different hair, repeated his earlier request. But Lais, comparing his form with his hair, and thinking him similar but not the same (though perhaps the same), wished to make a joke, so she said, ‘You fool, why are you asking for what I refused? I just said no to your father.'”

Canus rogabat Laidis noctem Myron:

tulit repulsam protinus

Causamque sensit: et caput fuligine

fucavit atra candidum.

Idemque vultu, crine non idem Myron,

Orabat oratum prius.

Sed illa, formam cum capillo comparans,

similemque, non ipsum rata,

fortasse et ipsum; sed volens ludo frui

sic est adorta callidum:

inepte, quid me, quod recusavi, rogas?

Patri negavi iam tuo.

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