Catullus Carmina 72

 

Dicebas quondam solum te nosse Catullum,

Lesbia, nec prae me velle tenere Iouem.

dilexi tum te non tantum ut vulgus amicam,

sed pater ut gnatos diligit et generos.

nunc te cognovi: quare etsi impensius uror,

multo mi tamen es vilior et levior.

qui potis est, inquis? quod amantem iniuria talis

cogit amare magis, sed bene velle minus.

 

You said once you only knew Catullus,

Lesbia, and you’d not even want to embrace Jove instead of me.

I loved you then, not only as a common man his girlfriend

But as a father cherishes his sons and sons-in-law.

Now I know you. That’s why, although my passion is more intense,

Nonetheless for me you are cheaper and flimsier.

‘How can that be?’ you ask. It’s because such great injury

Forces a lover to love more but to care less. 

 

Catullus Carmina 70

 

Nulli se dicit mulier mea nubere malle

quam mihi, non si se Iuppiter ipse petat.

dicit: sed mulier cupido quod dicit amanti,

in vento et rapida scribere oportet aqua.

 

 

My woman says that there’s no one she’d rather marry

Than me, not even if Jupiter himself would ask her.

She says – but what a woman says to an ardent lover

Should be written on the wind and running water.

 

 

References

Catullus, Gaius Valerius. Carmina. Ed. E.T. Merrill. Perseus. Tufts University, n.d. Web. 21 August 2015.

Catullus, Gaius Valerius. Poems. Trans. Peter Liebregts. The Cantos Project. Ezra Pound Society, 21 August 2015. Web. 

 

 

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