This translation was first published on the web at Diotima: Materials for the study of women and gender in the ancient world (https://web.archive.org/web/20000818182840/http://www.uky.edu/AS/Classics/quinn.html) and is reprinted here by permission.
The fellow's worth a fortune who, far from commerce, cultivates his fathers'farm with his own oxen & is free of usury -- like the folk of yore.
No soldier, summoned to battle by the bugle or fearful of a fuming sea,no plaintiff or haunter of the haughty portals of especially-powerful citizensis the man who marries mature growths of grape to poplars he's pamperedOR watches over his wandering herd bellowing in lonely bottomlandswhile he saws away worthless scions & engrafts the gainful OR hoardshoney from the comb into clean containers OR shears his compliant sheep.
As Autumn hoists its head, adorned with fleshy fruits, through fields,he gloats, gathering prize pears & grapes purpler than the pigmentto pay you, Priapus, & you sir, Silvanus, protector of property.The bliss of napping beneath an old oak OR on a luxuriant lawnwhile water wends between wide banks & birds whine in the woods& fountains fret with splashing spray -- a summons to soft slumbers!
When wintry weather threatens with thunder, storms & snow, he speedsinto snares (from all sides) boars battling a horde of houndsOR suspends from slender staves the webbing widened to fool feedingfigpeckers and ropes the frightened rabbit & drifting crane (a delicacy!).
Living that life, who wouldn't ignore the ills latent in love?
Should a faithful wife do her fair share helping with the home & cherishedchildren (a Sabine, say, or the sunburned bride of an assiduous Apulian)AND stack seasoned timber on the hearth for her tired husband's returnAND pen yielding ewes within pleachwork to drain their distended uddersAND, ladling a lively vintage from the vat, prepare an unpurchased repast --
I'd freely forego the finest oyster OR flounder OR scaurfish forcedto these waters when winter blasts bolts on Eastern breakers.African fowl & Greek game-hens hardly would settle into my stomachhappier than the odd olive, harvested from the orchard's oiliest offshootOR meadow-dwelling sourdock & mallows (medicine for a body's burdens)OR a lamb slain for a farmers' festival OR a friskling whisked from a wolf.
"How felicitous at such feasts to see fattened flocks hurrying homeward,bone-weary bulls with nodding necks pulling an upended plough,& the worker-bees of a wealthy abode: slaves stationed near smiling cult-statues!"
So spoke Alfius, a financier, bent on becoming a bumpkin.Midway through the month, he cashed his capital -- to float it again on the first.