Cornix et caries vetusque bustum,
turba putida facta saeculorum,
quae forsan potuisset esse nutrix
Tithoni Priamique Nestorisque,
illis ni pueris anus fuisset,
ne desit sibi, me rogat, fututor.
quid si nunc roget, ut puella fiat?
si nummos tamen haec habet, puella est.
A chough, a caries, an eld-worn grave,
By lapse of crowding centuries rotten grown,
Who as a wetnurse haply may have fed
Tithonus, Priam, Nestor, and perchance
When they were little lads was agèd crone,
Sues me for swiver she may never lack!
How if she pray me to be girl again?
Yet, if she's moneyed, she's again a girl.
An old crow, a thing of decay, a very sepulchre, grown rotten through the lapse of generations, who perchance might have been the wet-nurse of Tithonus, of Priam, and of Nestor, or who was an old woman maybe when they were boys, beseeches me that a futterer may not be wanting to her. How if she were now to pray that she may become a girl again? Nevertheless if she hath- money, she is a girl.
[1. Suggesting she may obtain a lover if she will pay for him. Martial writes,
'Lesbia swears that she has never been futtered gratis. It is true: for when she
wants to futter, she is wont to pay.' And,
Wouldst thou be wimbled gratis when thou art
A wrinkled wretch deformed in every part?
O 'tis a thing more than ridiculous:
To take a man's full sum, and not pay Use!]