The Ruined Maid
Lipograms – Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)
His English, my Latin
The Ruined Maid"O 'Melia, my dear, this does everything crown! Who could have supposed I should meet you in Town? And whence such fair garments, such prosperi-ty?" — "O didn't you know I'd been ruined?" said she. — "You left us in tatters, without shoes or socks, Tired of digging potatoes, and spudding up docks; And now you've gay bracelets and bright feathers three!" — "Yes: that's how we dress when we're ruined," said she. — "At home in the barton you said thee' and thou,' And thik oon,' and theäs oon,' and t'other'; but now Your talking quite fits 'ee for high compa-ny!" — "Some polish is gained with one's ruin," said she. — "Your hands were like paws then, your face blue and bleak But now I'm bewitched by your delicate cheek, And your little gloves fit as on any la-dy!" — "We never do work when we're ruined," said she. — "You used to call home-life a hag-ridden dream, And you'd sigh, and you'd sock; but at present you seem To know not of megrims or melancho-ly!" — "True. One's pretty lively when ruined," said she. — "I wish I had feathers, a fine sweeping gown, And a delicate face, and could strut about Town!" — "My dear — a raw country girl, such as you be, Cannot quite expect that. You ain't ruined," said she.
De virgine perdita‘hoc superat certe, cara o mea Melia, totum: ~~res inopina, ego iens obvia in urbe tibi. unde hae divitiae quot habes et pulcher amictus?’ ~~‘num nescis? quia sum perdita: damnor ego.’ ‘squalebant panni, nudo pede pauper abisti: ~~plus lolia et betas lassa fodire nequis. nunc nitet armillis necnon tribus instita plumis.’ ~~‘tale quidem splendens perdita tegmen habet.’ ‘rure domi tute, en! tibimetque in chorte solebas, ~~hice ollumque et alid, rustica verba loqui. nunc tamen apta bonis tua vox, proceresque iuvabis.’ ~~‘perdita pro damno lautior esse potest.’ ‘dura rudisque manus, pigrum os et pullius: at nunc ~~pellicit et tamquam fascinat ista gena. sunt manicae tenerae, bona quas matrona sitiret!’ ~~‘nulla laborem urget perdita nympha manu.’ ‘ante domi te questa magas vinxisse sopore, ~~ miscebas gemitu murmura. nunc mihi ades expers tristitiae, caput haud cruciata dolore.’ ~~‘vera refers: hilaris perdita nympha viget.’ ‘o si magnificam chlamydem plumasque tenerem, ~~os purum, forti pulchra et in urbe gradu!’ ‘rustica et inconcinna manes. quid? non tibi talis, ~~non tibi, quae non es perdita, vita datur.’
Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès