Death Before Applause

Callimaco Esperiente (Filippo Buonaccorsi), Epigrams (51)

O my little book, neither laughing with Athenian wit, nor cultivated enough by Italian Minerva, think nothing of the curved nostrils of insulting envy. Rarely does a poet please before the grave, but their name flies across everyone’s mouths after the funeral. Marsus and Catullus were hardly known by their own times: you too will please posterity if Papiensis now approves you.

51. ad libellum
O, nec Cecropio lepore ridens
Nec culte Ausonia satis Minerva,
Curvatas nihili putes, libelle,
Nares invidiae obloquentis usque.
Rarus ante rogos placet poeta,
Sed post exsequias volat per ora.
Vix Marsum sua saecla, vix Catullum
Norant: tu quoque posteris placebis,
Si te nunc Papiensis approbabit.

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