Catullus Carmina 2

Passer, deliciae meae puellae,

quicum ludere, quem in sinu tenere,

cui primum digitum dare adpetenti

et acris solet incitare morsus,

cum desiderio meo nitenti

carum nescio quid libet iocari

(et solaciolum sui doloris,

credo, ut tum gravis adquiescat ardor),

tecum ludere sicut ipsa possem

et tristis animi levare curas!

... Tam gratum est mihi quam ferunt puellae

pernici aureolum fuisse malum,

quod zonam solvit diu ligatam.

Sparrow, my girl’s pet,
With whom she plays, whom she cuddles in her lap,
To whom she gives her fingertip for which it is eager
And teases to bite sharply,
Whenever the darling of my bright desire
Is in the mood to play some game
(also a little solace for her pain,
I think, so that her heavy passion comes to rest),
I wish I could play with you as she does
And lift the sad cares from my mind.
…this is as welcome to me as, they say,
The golden apple has been to that fast-running girl,
Which loosed her too long tied girdle.



Catullus Carmina 3

Lugete, o Veneres Cupidinesque

et quantum est hominum venustiorum!

passer mortuus est meae puellae,

passer, deliciae meae puellae,

quem plus illa oculis suis amabat;

nam mellitus erat, suamque norat

ipsa tam bene quam puella matrem,

nec sese a gremio illius movebat,

sed circumsiliens modo huc modo illuc

ad solam dominam usque pipiabat.

qui nunc it per iter tenebricosum

illuc unde negant redire quemquam.

at vobis male sit, malae tenebrae

Orci, quae omnia bella devoratis;

tam bellum mihi passerem abstulistis.

o factum male! o miselle passer!

tua nunc opera meae puellae

flendo turgiduli rubent ocelli.

Grieve, O Venuses and Cupids,

And all of the more charming people!

The sparrow of my girl is dead,

The sparrow, my girl’s pet,

Whom she loved more than her eyes;

For he was honey-sweet and knew his mistress

As well as a girl knows her mother,

And he would not leave her lap,

But hopping then here, then there,

Would chirp to his mistress alone.

Now he is going on that dark journey

To that place from where they say no one returns.

But my curse on you, evil darkness

Of Orcus, which devours all pretty things;

You have taken from me such a pretty sparrow.

O what an evil deed! O wretched sparrow!

Because of you my girl’s eyes

Are now swollen red with crying.



Catullus, Gaius Valerius. Carmina 2 and 3. Ed. E. T. Merrill. Perseus. Tufts U, n.d. Web. 1 August 2015.

Catullus, Gaius Valerius. Poems 2 and 3. Trans. Peter Liebregts. The Cantos Project. Ezra Pound Society, August 2015. Web.



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