Pliny’s ‘Ode to Decorum’

Pliny’s ‘Ode to Decorum’

(Written whilst travelling to the forum).

Oh, Odious Decorum

Best left in the forum

For discussion by the Quorum –

Though it should bore ’em –

Lend me the outer mantle of decorous being;

So, that all, upon seeing my stately for(u)m,

Shall be mollified,

Their rages nullified

And, I, quite qualified,

Shall be as of them.

Oh, tedious Decorum,

Let not your need for strict codes

Be stultifying my casual odes

As I travel betwixt constant Constantinople

And happen to travel upon

Inglorious Rhodes.

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