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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Prologue of ‘Casina’
By Plautus (c. 254–184 B.C.)
 
Translation of William Cranston Lawton

THE MEN who drink old wine I count as wise,
And those that gladly hear an ancient play.
Since antique words and phrases please you well,
An old-time drama should delight you more.
For the new comedies that now appear        5
Are even more debased than these new coins.
Now we have hearkened to the people’s cry,
That you desire to hear the Plautine plays,
And so bring out this ancient comedy,
Which you approved;—that is, you elder men:        10
The younger sort, I am sure, have known it not;
But that you may, we earnestly shall strive.
All dramas it surpassed, when acted first.
The flower of poets still were living then,
Though now departed whither all must pass,—        15
In absence helpful still to those that are.
And with full earnestness we beg you all
Kindly to give attention to our troop.
  Cast from your minds your cares and debts away.
Let no one stand in terror of his dun.        20
’Tis holiday. The banks keep holiday.
’Tis peace! The forum has its halcyon days.
 
 
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