adapted from Martial, I.x

So have you heard of Maronilla’s wooing?
Gemellus is desperate,
and from a purse so small as his,
the presents he sends her, astonish.
We’re taking bets on when the rites
will make him Mr. Maronilla. But why?
Has she a young girl’s charms to offer?
Not a chance — the hags of the town
use her as a model. What’s this about,
you ask? Lean close as I whisper it:
she is rich, and tubercular.


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