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So new, so smooth, my dainty book,
A gift for whom? Cornelius, look,
‘Tis yours: for you in early days
Were ever wont my rhymes to praise.

[Cui dono lepidum novum libellum
arido modo pumice expolitum?
Corneli, tibi; namque tu solebas
meas esse aliquid putare nugas.]

gaius valerius catullus
Catullus (c. 84 BC – c. 54 BC) Latin poet [Gaius Valerius Catullus]
Carmina # 1 “To Cornelius Nepos,” ll. 1-4 [tr. MacNaghten (1925)]

Dedication of the collection (though the canonical collection of Catullus's poems is dubious in its provenance).

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

With pumice dry just polish'd fine,
To whom present this book of mine;
This little volume smart, and new? --
Cornelius, I will give it you:
For then you oft were wont to say
Some trifling merit had my lay.
[tr. Nott (1795)]

My little volume is complete,
With all the care and polish neat
That makes it fair to see:
To whom shall I then, to whose praise,
Inscribe my lively, graceful lays?
Cornelius, friend, to thee.
[tr. Lamb (1821)]

My little volume is complete,
And with the pumice made as neat
As tome need wish to be;
And now what patron shall I choose
For thee gay sallies of my muse?
Cornelius, whom but thee?
For though they are but trifles, thou
Some value didst to them allow.
[tr. T. Martin (1861), st. 1-2]

To what dear friend, say, shall I dedicate
My smart new book, just trimm'd with pumice dry?
To thee, Cornelius -- for, in years gone by,
Thou was accustom'd my light lays to rate
As something more than trifles.
[tr. Cranstoun (1867)]

My little book, that's neat and new,
Fresh polished with dry pumice stone,
To whom, Cornelius, but to you,
Shall this be sent, for you alone --
(Who used to praise my lines, my own) ....
[tr. Lang (1888)]

To thee (Cornelius!); for wast ever fain
To deem my trifles somewhat boon contain.
[tr. Burton (1893)]

To whom inscribe my charming new book -- just out and with ashen pumice polished? Cornelius, to you! for you used to deem my triflings of account.
[tr. Smithers (1894)]

To whom am I to present my pretty new book, freshly smoothed off with dry pumice stone? To you, Cornelius: for you used to think that my trifles were worth something, long ago.
[tr. Warre Cornish (1904)]

To whom shall I offer this book, young and sprightly,
Neat, polished, wide-margined, and finished politely?
To you, my Cornelius ....
[tr. Stewart (1915)]

To whom shall I offer my new little book
Looking as polished as parchment can look?
Cornelius, to thee, for 'twa thou who didst prize
My trifles as something e'en then in thine eyes.
[tr. Symons-Jeune (1923)]

To whom this dainty booklet polished new
With pumice stone? Cornelius, to you.
For you were wont my versicles to praise
As things of value in those bygone days.
[tr. Wright (1926), ch. 3]

Who shall receive my new-born book,
my poems, elegant and shy,
neatly dressed and polished?
You, Cornelius,
shall by my single patron,
for, long ago, you praised my slender lines and stanzas.
[tr. Gregory (1931)]

Whom do I give my neat little volume
slicked dry and made fashionable with pumice?
Cornelius, to you: remindful that you
used to dwell on my scantlings as something great.
[tr. Zukofsky (1959)]

To whom will I give this sophisticated,
abrasively accomplished new collection?
To you, Cornelius! You had the habit
of making much of my poetic little.
[tr. C. Martin (1979)]

To whom do I send this fresh little book
of wit, just polished off with dry pumice?
To you, Cornelius: since you were accustomed
to consider my trifles worth something
even then.
[tr. Kline (2001)]

To whom do I dedicate this charming slim volume,
just now polished with dry pumice stone?
For you Cornelius, for you were accustomed to think
that my scribblings were something.
[tr. Ozlem (2003)]

Who's the dedicatee of my new witty
booklet, all fresh-polished with abrasive?
You, Cornelius: for you always used to
feel my trivia possessed some substance.
[tr. Green (2005)]

To whom to give this charming little book
dryly polished with a pumice stone?
To you, Cornelius: you used to think
my trivial little scribbles worth a look.
[Source (2011)]

Who is it I should give my little book to,
So pretty in its pumice-polished covers?
Cornelius, I'll give my book to you:
Because you used to think my nothings somethings.
[tr. Ferry (2012)]

To whom do I give this pleasing new little book,
Just now smoothed with dry pumice?
To you, Cornelius: For you were accustomed
To consider my trifles to be something.
[tr. Wikibooks (2017)]

To whom do I give this elegant new booklet,
polished just now with dry pumice?
To you, Cornelius! Since you always
thought my doggerel was worth something.
[tr. Wikisource (2018)]

Added on 22-Feb-24 | Last updated 22-Feb-24
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More quotes by Catullus

Whatever then its value be,
Accept this little book from me;
And, o protecting Virgin, deign
It may for centuries remain!

[Quare habe tibi quidquid hoc libelli
qualecumque, quod, o patrona virgo,
plus uno maneat perenne saeclo.]

gaius valerius catullus
Catullus (c. 84 BC – c. 54 BC) Latin poet [Gaius Valerius Catullus]
Carmina # 1 “To Cornelius Nepos,” ll. 8-10 [tr. Nott (1795), l. 11ff.]

Dedicating the book to his friend and patron, as well as to Pallas Athena.

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Then take the book I now address,
Though small its size, its merit less,
'Tis all thy friend can give;
And let me, guardian Muse, implore
That when at least one age is o'er,
This volume yet may live.
[tr. Lamb (1821), st. 3]

Then take this little book, whae'er
Of good or bad it store;
And grant, oh guardian Muse, that it
May keep the flavour of its wit
A century or more.
[tr. T. Martin (1861), st. 3]

Wherefore accept my tiny leaves, I pray,
Such as they are, -- and, Patron Goddess, give
This boon: that still perennial they may live
After a century has roll'd away.
[tr. Cranstoun (1867)]

Therefore welcome it, yours the little outcast,
This slight volume. O yet, supreme awarder,
Virgin, save it in ages on for ever.
[tr. Ellis (1871), st. 4]

So take, whate'er its worth may be,
My Book, -- but, Lady and Queen of Song,
This one gift I crave of thee,
That it may live for ages long!
[tr. Lang (1888)]

Then take thee whatso in this booklet be,
Such as it is, whereto O Patron Maid
To live down Ages lend thou lasting aid!
[tr. Burton (1893)]

Therefore take this booklet, such as it is, and, O Virgin Patroness, may it outlive generations more than one.
[tr. Smithers (1894)]

So take and keep for your own this little book, such as it is, and whatever it is worth; and may it, O Virgin my patroness, live and last for more than one century.
[tr. Warre Cornish (1904)]

Accept, therefore, this little book and all that it contains, such as it is; and, O guardian maiden, ordain that it shall outlive this generation.
[tr. Stuttaford (1912)]

So take my small book -- if it meet with your favor,
The passing of years cannot dull its sweet savor.
[tr. Stewart (1915)]

Do thou then accept this booklet, I pray;
And grant, Virgin muse, that, if such be its worth,
It outlive the one age that has given it birth.
[tr. Symons-Jeune (1923)]

Therefore the book how slight soe'er,
Be yours: and thou, kind Muse, prolong
More than one age my timeless song.
[tr. MacNaghten (1925)]

Wherefore, dear friend, this humble volume take,
With all its imperfections, for my sake;
Which with Minerva's favour yet may last
When you and I into the dust have passed.
[tr. Wright (1926)]

Then, take this little book
for what it is, my friend.
Patroness and Muse,
keep these poems green for
a day or so beyond a hundred years.
O Virgin!
[tr. Gregory (1931)]

And so it's yours; I hand this slim book over,
such as it is -- for the sake of its patron
may it survive a century or better.
[tr. C. Martin (1979)]

Then take this little book for your own: whatever
it is, and is worth: virgin Muse, patroness,
let it last, for more lives than one.
[tr. Kline (2001)]

For that reason have for yourself whatever this little book is,
and whatever you like, oh patron maiden,
let it last a long time, for more than one generation!
[tr. Ozlem (2003)]

So take this little booklet, this mere trifle,
whatever it may be worth -- and Patron Virgin,
let it outlast at least one generation!
[tr. Green (2005)]

Book of mine for what it’s worth; whatever;
And oh, patroness Virgin, grant that it shall
Live and survive beyond the century.
[tr. Ferry (2012)]

For this reason have for yourself whatever this is of a little book,
Such as it is; O virgin patron,
That it may endure for more than one age.
[tr. Wikibooks (2017)]

So keep for yourself this little book of some sort.
May it last, O generous goddess!,
more than one long age.
[tr. Wikisource (2018)]

Added on 6-Mar-24 | Last updated 6-Mar-24
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More quotes by Catullus

Ye Venuses and Cupids mourn,
Ye whom the graces most adorn,
Come, and your tears of sorrow shed:
My Lesbia’s little bird is dead.

[Lugete, o Veneres Cupidinesque
et quantum est hominum venustiorum!
passer mortuus est meae puellae,
passer, deliciae meae puellae.]

gaius valerius catullus
Catullus (c. 84 BC – c. 54 BC) Latin poet [Gaius Valerius Catullus]
Carmina # 3 “Death of the Sparrow,” ll. 1-4 [tr. Bliss (1872)]

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Mourn all ye Loves! ye Graces mourn!
My Lesbia's fav'rite sparrow's gone!
Ye men for wit, for taste, preferr'd,
Lament my girl's departed bird!
[tr. Nott (1795)]

Mourn, all ye loves and graces; mourn,
Ye wits, ye gallant, and ye gay;
Death from my fair her bird has torn,
Her much-loved Sparrow's snatch'd away.
[tr. Lamb (1821)]

Loves and Graces, mourn with me,
Mourn, fair youths, where'er ye be!
Dead my Lesbia's sparrow is,
Sparrow, that was all her bliss.
[tr. T. Martin (1861)]

Ye Graces! mourn, oh mourn!
Mourn, Cupids Venus-born!
And loveliest sons of earth, where'er ye are !
Dead is now my darling's sparrow --
Sparrow of my "winsome marrow,"
Than her very eyes, oh! dearer to her far.
[tr. Cranstoun (1867)]

Weep each heavenly Venus, all the Cupids,
Weep all men that have any grace about ye.
Dead the sparrow, in whom my love delighted,
The dear sparrow, in whom my love delighted.
[tr. Ellis (1871)]

Weep every Venus, and all Cupids wail,
And men whose gentler spirits still prevail.
Dead is the Sparrow of my girl, the joy,
Sparrow, my sweeting's most delicious toy.
[tr. Burton (1893)]

O mourn, you Loves and Cupids, and all men of gracious mind. Dead is the sparrow of my girl, sparrow, darling of my girl.
[tr. Smithers (1894)]

Mourn, all ye Loves, ye Loves and Cupids, mourn,
Make moan for heaviness, ye gallants bright,
For Lesbia's bird, my Lesbia weeps forlorn;
He's dead -- poor, pretty bird -- my love's delight!
[tr. Harman (1897)]

Mourn, ye Graces and Loves, and all you whom the Graces love. My lady's sparrow is dead, the sparrow my lady's pet.
[tr. Warre Cornish (1904)]

Mourn, all ye Graces, mourn, ye Sons of Love, and all whose hearts engender pity. The sparrow of my beloved is no more; that sparrow, the delight of my beloved.
[tr. Stuttaford (1912)]

Weep, weep, ye Loves and Cupids all,
And ilka Man o’ decent feelin’:
My lassie’s lost her wee, wee bird,
And that’s a loss, ye’ll ken, past healin’.
[tr. Davies (1912)]

Let Venus bow her head in grief,
And tears drown Cupid's eyes in sorrow,
And men of feeling everywhere
Forget to smile -- until tomorrow.
My lady's little bird lies dead,
The bird that was my lady's prize.
[tr. Stewart (1915)]

Weep, ye gods of love and pleasure,
Weep, all all ye of finer clay,
Weep, my darling's lost her treasure,
Mourn her sparrow passed away!
[tr. Symons-Jeune (1923)]

Mourn Loves and Graces all, and you
Of men the lovelier chosen few.
The sparrow of my love is dead,
The playmate of my love is sped.
[tr. MacNaghten (1925)]

Dress now in sorrow, O all
you shades of Venus,
and your little cupids weep.
My girl has lost her darling sparrow.
[tr. Gregory (1931)]

Lament, o graces of Venus, and Cupids,
and cry out loud, men beloved by Her graces.
Pass here, it's dead, meant so much to my girl, the
sparrow, the jewel that delighted my girl.
[tr. Zukofsky (1959)]

Mourn, oh Cupids and Venuses,
and whatever there is of rather pleasing men:
the sparrow of my girlfriend has died,
the sparrow, delight of my girl.
[tr. Sullvan (1997)]

Mourn, O you Loves and Cupids
and such of you as love beauty:
my girl’s sparrow is dead,
sparrow, the girl’s delight.
[tr. Kline (2001)]

Mourn, Cupids all, every Venus,
and whatever company still exists of caring people:
Sparrow lies dead, my own true sweegheart's sparrow.
[tr. Green (2005)]

Mourn, Oh Venuses and Cupids
And all men of finer feeling
The sparrow of my girl has died,
the sparrow, my lady's pet.
[tr. Wikibooks (2017)]

Mourn, O Venuses and Cupids
and however many there are of more charming people:
my girl's sparrow is dead --
the sparrow, delight of my girl.
[tr. Wikisource (2018)]

Added on 13-Mar-24 | Last updated 13-Mar-24
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More quotes by Catullus

But now in the shadows
It goes to the bourne
Of Orcus remorseless
Whence none may return.

[Qui nunc it per iter tenebricosum
Illuc unde negant redire quemquam.]

gaius valerius catullus
Catullus (c. 84 BC – c. 54 BC) Latin poet [Gaius Valerius Catullus]
Carmina # 3 “Death of the Sparrow,” ll. 11-12 [tr. Wright (1926), st. 4]

Referring to the fate of his beloved Lesbia's beloved sparrow.

See also Shakepeare, Hamlet, Art 3, ll. 86-88.

That undiscover'd country, from whose bourn
No traveler returns.

There is no particular evidence that Shakespeare ever read Catullus, but other ancients (e.g., Seneca) quoted these lines from this Carmina. At the same time, post-Shakespearean translators may have been themselves influenced by the Bard's lines in their translations.

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Poor bird! who now that darksome bourn
Hast pass'd, whence none can e'er return.
[tr. Nott (1795), ll. 13-14]

He now that gloomy path must trace,
Whence Fate permits return to none.
[tr. Lamb (1821), st. 3]

Now he treads that gloomy track,
Whence none ever may come back.
[tr. T. Martin (1861)]

Now to that dreary bourn
Whence none can e'er return,
Poor little sparrow wings his weary flight.
[tr. Cranstoun (1867)]

Now he wendeth along the mirky pathway,
Whence, they tell us, is hopeless all returning.
[tr. Ellis (1871)]

Now he has gone to that dark place,
Whose dismal pathway none retrace.
[tr. Bliss (1872)]

Now must he wander o'er the darkling way
Thither, whence life-return the Fates denay.
[tr. Burton (1893)]

Now it fares along that path of shadows from where nothing may ever return.
[tr. Smithers (1894)]

Now, hs pretty doings o'er,
His little soul goes darkling whither all
Must go, and, going, may return no more.
[tr. Harman (1897)]

Now he goes along the dark road, thither whence they say no one returns.
[tr. Warre Cornish (1904)]

The wee thing’s gane the shadowy road
That’s never traveled back by ony:
[tr. Davies (1912)]

Now he travels the path of shadows, to that place, whence all men agree there is no return.
[tr. Stuttaford (1912)]

Now does it seek the darksome way,
Whence none return nor message bring.
[tr. Stewart (1915), st. 4]

Now he's journeying through the eternal
Darkness, to the relentless shades.
[tr. Symons-Jeune (1923), st. 4]

And now he journeys whence they say
No steps retrace the darkling way.
[tr. MacNaghten (1925)]

Now he is gone; poor creature,
lost in darkness,
to a sad place
from which no one returns.
[tr. Gregory (1931), st. 3]

Who now? It's hard to walk through tenebrous flume
down there, where it is granted not one comes back.
[tr. Zukofsky (1959)]

It now flits off on its way, goes, gloom-laden
down to where -- word is -- there is no returning.
[tr. C. Martin (1979)]

Who now goes through that gloomy journey
from whence they denied anyone returns.
[tr. Sullivan (1997)]

Now he goes down the shadowy road
from which they say no one returns.
[tr. Kline (2001)]

Now he's traveling on that dark-shroud journey whence, they tell us, none of the departed ever returns.
[tr. Green (2005)]

It now goes through the dark journey
to that place from where they deny that anyone returns.
[tr. Wikibooks (2017)]

He who now goes through the shadowy journey
thither, whence they deny that anyone returns.
[tr. Wikisource (2018)]

Added on 3-Apr-24 | Last updated 3-Apr-24
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More quotes by Catullus

Come, let us live and love, my dear,
A fig for all the pratings drear
Of sour old sages, worldly wise.
Aye, suns may set again to rise;
But as for us, when once our sun
His little course of light has run,
An endless night we’ll sleep away.
[Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus
rumoresque senum severiorum
omnes unius aestimemus assis
soles occidere et redire possunt:
nobis cum semel occidit brevis lux,
nox est perpetua una dormienda.]

gaius valerius catullus
Catullus (c. 84 BC – c. 54 BC) Latin poet [Gaius Valerius Catullus]
Carmina # 5 “To Lesbia,” ll. 1-6 [tr. Stewart (1915)]

One of Catulllus' most popular and widely-translated poems.

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Come and let us live, my Deare,
Let us love and never feare
What the sourest Fathers say:
Brightest Sol that dyes to-day
Lives againe as blithe to-morrow;
But if we darke sons of sorrow
Set, ô then, how long a Night
Shuts the Eyes of our short light!
[tr. Crashaw (1648)]

Lesbia, live to love and pleasure,
Careless what the grave may say:
When each moment is a treasure
Why should lovers lose a day?
Setting suns shall rise in glory,
But when little life is o'er,
There's an end of all the story --
We shall sleep, and wake no more.
[tr. Langhorne (c. 1765)]

Let's live, and love, my darling fair!
And not a single farthing care
For age's babbling spite;
Yon suns that set again shall rise,
but, when our transient meteor dies,
We sleep in endless night.
[tr. Nott (1795)]

My Lesbia, let us love and live,
And to the winds, my Lesbia, give
Each cold restraint, each boding fear
Of age and all her saws severe.
Yon sun now posting to the main
Will set -- but 'tis to rise again: --
But we, when once our mortal light
Is set, must sleep in endless night!
[tr. Coleridge (1798)]

Love, my Lesbia, while we live,
Value all the cross advice
That the surly greybeards give
At a single farthing's price.
Suns that set again may rise;
We, when once our fleeting light,
Once our day in darkness dies,
Sleep in one eternal night.
[tr. Lamb (1821)]

Live we, love we, Lesbia dear,
And the stupid saws austere,
Which your sour old dotards prate,
Let us at a farthing rate!
When the sun sets, ' tis to rise
Brighter in the morning skies;
But, when sets our little light,
We must sleep in endless night.
[tr. T. Martin (1861)]

The while we live, to love let's give
Each hour, my winsome dearie!
Hence, churlish rage of icy age!
Of love we 'll ne'er grow weary.
Bright Phoebus dies, again to rise;
Returns life's brief light never;
When once 'tis gone, we slumber on
For ever and for ever.
[tr. Cranstoun (1867)]

Living, Lesbia, we should e'en be loving.
Sour severity, tongue of eld maligning,
All be to us a penny's estimation.
Suns set only to rise again to-morrow.
We, when sets in a little hour the brief light,
Sleep one infinite age, a night for ever.
[tr. Ellis (1871)]

Love we (my Lesbia!) and live we our day,
While all stern sayings crabbed sages say,
At one doit's value let us price and prize!
The Suns can westward sink again to rise
But we, extinguished once our tiny light,
Perforce shall slumber through one lasting night!
[tr. Burton (1893)]

Let us live, my Lesbia, and let us love, and count all the rumors of stern old men at a penny's fee. Suns can set and rise again: we when once our brief light has set must sleep through a perpetual night.
[tr. Smithers (1894)]

Come, my Lesbia, no repining;
Let us love while yet we may!
Suns go on forever shining;
But when we have had our day,
Sleep perpetual shall o'ertake us,
And no morrow's dawn awake us.
[tr. Field (1896)]

Let us live, my Lesbia, and love, and value at one farthing all the talk of crabbed old men.
Suns may set and rise again. For us, when the short light has once set, remains to be slept the sleep of one unbroken night.
[tr. Warre Cornish (1904)]

Let us live, my Lesbia, let us love, for the reprobation of soured age let us not care a sou. Suns can set and rise again; but to our brief light, when once it sets, there comes a never-ending night that must be passed in never-ending sleep.
[tr. Stuttaford (1912)]

We live, Lesbia,
And we love, Lesbia,
And what do we care what the world may say?
The sun goes down,
And the sun comes up,
But our little lives pass away
In a day,
Our poor little lives pass away.
[tr. Dement (1915)]

Let us revel in life and love, my darling;
All that crabbed antiquities say idly
We will value together at a farthing.
Suns may set , and return again as brightly:
When our light to its dying spark has fluttered,
We must sleep an eternity of slumber.
[tr. Symons-Jeune (1923)]

O! let us love and have our day,
All that the bitter greybeards say
Appraising at a single mite.
My Lesbia , suns can set and rise:
For us the brief light dawns and dies
Once only, and the rest is night.
[tr. MacNaghten (1925)]

Come let us live and let us love,
And the stern voice of censors prove,
Who bid us from our loving cease,
Exactly worth a penny piece.
For suns can rise and suns can wane
And on the morrow rise again;
But when our one brief day is gone,
For ever we must sleep alone.
[tr. Wright (1926)]

Come, Lesbia, let us live and love,
nor give a damn what sour old men say.
The sun that sets may rise again
but when our light has sunk into the earth,
it is gone forever.
[tr. Gregory (1931)]

Lesbia, let us live only for loving,
and let us value at a single penny
all the loose flap of senile busybodies!
Suns when they set are capable of rising,
but at the setting of our on brief light
night is one sleep from which we never awaken.
[tr. C. Martin (1979)]

Let us live, my Lesbia, let us love,
and all the words of the old, and so moral,
may they be worth less than nothing to us!
Suns may set, and suns may rise again:
but when our brief light has set,
night is one long everlasting sleep.
[tr. Kline (2001)]

Let us live, my Lesbia, and let us love,
and let us judge all the rumors of the old men
to be worth just one penny!
The suns are able to fall and rise:
When that brief light has fallen for us,
we must sleep a never ending night.
[tr. Negenborn (1997)]

Let's live, Lesbia mine, and love --
and as for scandal, all the gossip, old men's strictures,
value the lot at no more than a farthing!
Suns can rise and set ad infinitum --
for us, though, once our bref life's quenched,
there's only one unending night that's left to sleep through.
[tr. Green (2005)]

Come live with me, Lesbia, and be my love,
And ignore the wagging tongues
Of wilted crones and toothless geezers.
Suns rise and set, rise and set again,
But we, when our brief light is blacked,
Must sleep forever, and then forever.
[tr. Hager (2006)]

My Lesbia, let’s live and let’s love,
Let all the rumors of harsh old men
count for only a penny.
Suns can set and rise again:
but when our brief light sets
we must sleep a lonely endless night.
[tr. @sentantiq (2015)]

Let us live, my Lesbia, and let us love,
and let's value all the rumors
of rather stern old men as one penny!
Suns can set and return;
as for us, once our brief light sets,
there is one perpetual night to be slept.
[tr. Wikibooks (2017)]

Let us live, my Lesbia, and let us love,
and let us value all the rumors of
more severe old men at only a penny!
Suns are able to set and return:
when once the short light has set for us
one perpetual night must be slept by us.
[tr. Wikisource (2018)]

Compare also these two pieces, which start modeled after Catullus (as shown):

My sweetest Lesbia, let us live and love;
And though the sager sort our deeds reprove,
Let us not weigh them: Heaven's great lamps do dive
Into their west, and straight again revive,
But, soon as once set is our little light,
Then must we sleep one ever-during night.
[Thomas Campion, A Book of Airs (1601)]

Come my Celia, let us prove,
While we can, the sports of love;
Time will not be ours forever,
He at length our good will sever.
Spend not then his gifts in vain;
Suns that set may rise again,
But if once we lose this light,
'Tis with us perpetual night.
[Ben Jonson, Volpone, Act 3, sc. 6 (1616)]

Added on 10-Apr-24 | Last updated 17-Apr-24
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More quotes by Catullus

You’ll dine well, dear Fabullus, in my lodging
one day soon — if the gods look on you kindly,
if you bring along a good and lavish
dinner, not to mention an attractive
girl, plus wine and salt and witty stories.
If, I repeat, you bring this lot, old sweetheart,
you’ll dine well. The thing is, your Catullus
has a purse that’s full — of spiders’ cobwebs.

[Cenabis bene, mi Fabulle, apud me
paucis, si tibi di favent, diebus,
si tecum attuleris bonam atque magnam
cenam, non sine candida puella
et vino et sale et omnibus cachinnis.
haec si, inquam, attuleris, venuste noster
cenabis bene; nam tui Catulli
plenus sacculus est aranearum.]

gaius valerius catullus
Catullus (c. 84 BC – c. 54 BC) Latin poet [Gaius Valerius Catullus]
Carmina # 13 “To Fabullus,” ll. 1-8 [tr. Green (2005)]

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Fabullus, if the gods agree,
So mightily to favour thee;
Thou shalt, ere many days be spent,
Sup with me to thy heart's content:
But do thyself provide the treat,
Of which we sumptuously may eat;
Bring thy fair mistress, bring thy wine,
Loud laughter, and each jest of thine;
Let these, my merry soul, be sent;
Then sup unto thy heart's content:
For thy poor poet's purse with nought
But spider's worthless webs is fraught.
[tr. Nott (1795)]

Fabullus, thou shalt be my guest
At supper soon, if Heaven's behest
No otherwise decree:
The feast too must be rich and rare,
And since though lov'st luxurious fare,
Bring such a feast with thee.
And bring the girl with breast of snow,
And wine and wit of ready flow,
And laughter's joyous peal;
Bid but all these my board attend,
And then no doubt, my gallant friend,
We'll have a glorious meal.
For in my coffers spiders weave
Their webs in peace ....
[tr. Lamb (1821)]

You dine with me, Fabullus mine,
On Friday next, at half-past two;
And I can promise that you'll dine
As well as man need wish to do;
If you bring with you, when you come,
A dinner of the very best,
And lots of wine and mirth , and some
Fair girl to give the whole a zest.
'Tis if you bring these -- mark me now!
That you're to have the best of dinners;
For your Catullus' purse, I vow,
Has nothing in't but long-legg'd spinners.
[tr. T. Martin (1861)]

If the gods will, Fabullus mine,
With me right heartily you'll dine,
Bring but good cheer -- that chance is thine
Some days hereafter;
Mind a fair girl, too, wit, and wine,
And merry laughter.
Bring these -- you'll feast on kingly fare --
But bring them -- for my purse -- I swear
The spiders have been weaving there.
[tr. Cranstoun (1867)]

Please kind heaven, in happy time, Fabullus,
We'll dine merrily, dear my friend, together.
Promise only to bring, your own, a dinner
Rich and goodly; withal a lily maiden,
Wine, and banter, a world of hearty laughing.
Promise only; betimes we dine, my gentle
Friend, most merrily; but, for your Catullus --
Know he boasts but a pouch of empty cobwebs.
[tr. Ellis (1871)]

Thou'lt sup right well with me, Fabullus mine,
In days few-numbered an the Gods design,
An great and goodly meal thou bring wi' thee
Nowise forgetting damsel bright o' blee,
With wine, and salty wit and laughs all-gay.
An these my bonny man, thou bring, I say
Thou'lt sup right well, for thy Catullus' purse
Save web of spider nothing does imburse.
[tr. Burton (1893)]

You will feast well with me, my Fabullus, in a few days, if the gods favour you, provided you bring here with you a good and great feast, not forgetting a radiant girl and wine and wit and all kinds of laughter. Provided, I say, you bring them here, our charming friend, you will feast well: for your Catullus' purse is full with cobwebs.
[tr. Smithers (1894)]

You shall have a good dinner at my house, Fabullus, in a few days, please the gods, if you bring with you a good dinner and plenty of it, not forgetting a pretty girl and wine and wit and all5 kinds of laughter. If, I say, you bring all this, my charming friend, you shall have a good dinner; for your Catullus' purse is full of cobwebs.
[tr. Warre Cornish (1904)]

Fabullus, the Gods so willing, you shall feast with me in luxury, a few days hence, if you will bring with you dishes both delicate and varied, a comely maid, wine, wit, and a store of quips and cranks. Bring all these, my dear friend, and you shall sup luxuriously; for the purse of your Catullus is full of cobwebs.
[tr. Stuttaford (1912)]

Come dine with me, Fabullus, do.
You shall dine well, I promise you.
If Fates are kind, and if you bring
Along with you the needful thing --
A dinner bountiful and fine,
A pretty girl, new salt, old wine,
And topping all a hearty laugh,
Mirth, jest, and wit and friendly chaff --
If these you bring, old friend, I swear.
That you shall dine on royal fare.
Catullus' purse is full -- but hold!
Of musty cobwebs -- now don't scold ....
[tr. Stewart (1915)]

Right well, Fabullus, you shall sup with me
If the Gods love you, at an early date,
If you bring ample fare and delicate,
A damsel too , if she be nice to see;
Bring wine and spice and laughs and gaiety;
Bring these and you will sup with me in state.
For my poor little purse, I tell you straight
Is stuffed with cobwebs, full as full can be.
[tr. Symons-Jeune (1923)]

Soon, if all's well, Fabullus mine,
You at my house shall nobly dine,
If you the noble meal provide,
Yes, and a lovely girl beside,
And wine and wit and mirth sans end.
If these you bring, my charming friend,
You shall dine nobly; cobwebs fill
The purse of your Catullus. Still ....
[tr. MacNaghten (1925)]

Within a week, dear friend, (D.V.)
You shall be dining well with me;
That is, if you yourself provide
The dinner and the wine beside,
And with some jokes to salt our food
A damsel of complaisant mood.
If these you bring, then, as I say,
We'll have a jolly feast that day.
For I must tell you that my purse
Is full -- and there is nothing worse
Of cobwebs, and it does not hold
The smallest particle of gold.
[tr. Wright (1926);
"Deus Volunt" = "God Willing"]

Come, my Fabullus, there's a grand dinner waiting
for you at my house tomorrow, or the next day,
or the next, or a few days after --
that is, if gods are kind and you bring a banquet with you:
don't forget a round of wine and
a bright-eyed, sparkling girl and
your wit and every known variety of laughter.
Bring these, my dear, and you
shall have a glorious dinner;
your Catullus (see his purse)
has nothing left but cobwebs.
[tr. Gregory (1931)]

Fabullus, you'll have quite a feast
At my place in a day or two --
If the gods decide to favor you,
If you provide the meal, at least.
Then bring a glowing girl, and lend
Some wine, some wit, a laugh that rings.
If you remember all these things,
You'll have a feast, my charming friend --
For your Catullus' money-sack
is full of spiders, nothing more.
[tr. Hollander (1976)]

You will dine well with me, my dear Fabullus,
in a few days or so, the gods permitting.
Provided you provide the many-splendored
feast and invite your fair-complected lady,
your wine, your salt, and all the entertainment!
Which is to say, my dear, if you bring dinner
you will dine well, for these days your Catullus
fines that his purse is only full of cobwebs.
[tr. C. Martin (1979)]

You’ll dine well, in a few days, with me,
if the gods are kind to you, my dear Fabullus,
and if you bring lots of good food with you,
and don’t come without a pretty girl
and wine and wit and all your laughter.
I say you’ll dine well, and charmingly,
if you bring all that: since your Catullus’s
purse alas is full of cobwebs.
[tr. Kline (2001)]

You’ll dine well at my house, Fabullus
In a few days, if the gods favor you, and
If you bring a fine, large meal with you.
And don’t forget: a bright-eyed girl,
Wine, salt, and every kind of cheer.
If you bring these things I ask, fine friend,
You will dine well: for your Catullus’ wallet
Is full of nothing but spider webs.
[tr. @sentantiq (2015)]

You will dine well, my Fabullus, at my house
in a few days (if the gods favor you),
and if you bring with you a nice big
dinner, not without a pretty girl
and wine and wit and laughs for everyone
I say: if you bring these, my charming one,
you will dine well -- for the little purse
of your Catullus is full of cobwebs.
[tr. Wikibooks (2017)]

You will dine well, my (dear) Fabullus, at my house
in a few days, if the gods favor you,
and if you bring with you a large and good dinner,
not without a bright girl
and wine and salt[/wit] and laughter for all.
If you bring these, I say, our charming one,
you will dine well -- for your Catullus's
purse is full of cobwebs.
[tr. Wikisource (2018)]

Added on 24-Apr-24 | Last updated 24-Apr-24
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More quotes by Catullus

Doubtless we’re all mistaken so — ’tis true,
Each is in something a Suffenus too:
Our neighbour’s failing on his back is shown,
But we don’t see the wallet on our own.

[Nimirum idem omnes fallimur, neque est quisquam
quem non in aliqua re videre Suffenum
possis. Suus cuique attributus est error,
sed non videmus manticae quod in tergo est.]

gaius valerius catullus
Catullus (c. 84 BC – c. 54 BC) Latin poet [Gaius Valerius Catullus]
Carmina # 22 “To Varus,” ll. 18-21 [tr. Cranstoun (1867)]

Discussing Suffenus, a prolific (but very mediocre) poet, who believes himself to be extremely clever and talented. The metaphor in the last few lines reference Aesop's fable of the two bags.

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Yet all to such errors are prone, I believe;
Each man in himself a Suffenus may find:
The failings of others we quickly perceive,
But carry our own imperfection behind.
[tr. Nott (1795), # 19]

Yet we are all, I doubt, in truth
Deceived like this complacent youth;
All, I am much afraid, demean us
In some one thing just like Suffenus.
For still to every man that lives
His share of errors Nature gives;
But they, as 'tis in fable sung,
Are in a bag behind us hung;
And our formation kindly lacks
The power to see behind our backs.
[tr. Lamb (1821)]

Yet, which of us is there but makes
About himself as odd mistakes?
In some one thing we all demean us
Not less absurdly than Suffenus;
For vice or failing, small or great,
Is dealt to every man by fate.
But in a wallet at our back
Do we our peccadilloes pack,
And, as we never look behind,
So out of sight is out of mind.
[tr. T. Martin (1861)]

Friend, 'tis the common error; all alike are wrong,
Not one, but in some trifle you shall eye him true
Suffenus; each man bears from heaven the fault they send,
None sees within the wallet hung behind, our own.
[tr. Ellis (1871)]

In sooth, we all thus err, nor man there be
But in some matter a Suffenus see
Thou canst: his lache allotted none shall lack
Yet spy we nothing of our back-borne pack.
[tr. Burton (1893)]

Still, we are all the same and are deceived, nor is there any man in whom you can not see a Suffenus in some one point. Each of us has his assigned delusion: but we see not what's in the wallet on our back.
[tr. Smithers (1894)]

True enough, we all are under the same delusion, and there is no one whom you may not see to be a Suffenus in one thing or another. Everybody has his own fault assigned to him: but we do not see that part of the bag which hangs on our back.
[tr. Warre Cornish (1904)]

After all, every man of us is deceived in the same way, nor is there any one in whom, in some trait or another, you cannot recognize a Suffenus. Every one has his weak point, but we do not see what lies in that part of our wallet which is behind our backs.
[tr. Stuttaford (1912)]

Sure, all men into some such error fall,
There's a Suffenus in us one and all,
Each has his proper fault and each is blind
To the wallet's other half that hangs behind.
[tr. MacNaghten (1925)]

Have we not all some faults like these?
Are we not all Suffenuses?
In others the defect we find,
But cannot see our sack behind.
[tr. Landor (c. 1926)]

And we (all of us) have the same rich glow, the rapture
when writing verse. And there is no one living
who cannot find within him something of Suffenus,
each his hallucination that blinds him,
nor can he nor his sharp eyes discover
the load on his own shoulders.
[tr. Gregory (1931)]

Well, we all fall this way! There's not a person
whom in some matter you can fail to see
to be Suffenus. We cart round our follies,
but cannot see the bags upon our backs.
[tr. Fraser (1961)]

Conceited? Yes, but show me a man who isn't:
someone who doesn't seem like Suffenus in something.
A glaring fault? It must be somebody else's:
I carry mine in my backpack & ignore them.
[tr. C. Martin (1979)]

Of course we’re all deceived in the same way, and
there’s no one who can’t somehow or other be seen
as a Suffenus. Whoever it is, is subject to error:
we don’t see the pack on our own back.
[tr. Kline (2001)]

Clearly we are all deceived in the same way, nor is there anyone
Whom you could see not to be Suffenus in some thing.
To each one of us one's own mistakes have been assigned;
but we do not see the knapsack which is on our back.
[tr. Drudy (1997)]

Ah well, we all make that mistake -- there's not
one of us whom you can't in some small way
see as Suffenus. Each reveals his inborn flaw --
and yet we're blind to the load on our own backs!
[tr. Green (2005)]

Evidently we all falter in the same way, and there is no one
whom you cannot see Suffenus in some fashion.
To each man is attributed his own error;
but we do not see the kind of knapsack which is on our back.
[tr. Wikibooks (2017)]

Evidently we all are deceived the same way, nor is there anyone
whom you are not able to see Suffenus in some way.
To each their own error has been assigned;
but we do not see the knapsack which is on our back.
[tr. Wikisource (2018)]

Added on 15-May-24 | Last updated 15-May-24
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More quotes by Catullus

Oh, what more sweet than when, from care set free,
The spirit lays its burden down, and we,
With distant travel spent, come home and spread
Our limbs to rest along the wished-for bed.

[O quid solutis est beatius curis,
cum mens onus reponit, ac peregrino
labore fessi venimus larem ad nostrum,
desideratoque acquiescimus lecto?]

gaius valerius catullus
Catullus (c. 84 BC – c. 54 BC) Latin poet [Gaius Valerius Catullus]
Carmina # 31 “To Sirmio,” ll. 7-10 [tr. T. Martin (1861)]

Sirmio was the peninsula where his country villa was built, present-day Sirmione on Lago di Garda.

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

O, what so sweet as cares redress'd!
When the tir'd mind lays down its load;
When, with each foreign toil oppress'd,
We reach at length our own abode;
On our own wish'd-for couch recline,
And taste the bliss of sleep divine!
[tr. Nott (1795), # 28]

Then when the mind its load lays down;
When we regain, all hazards past,
And with long ceaseless travel tired,
Our household god again our own;
And press in tranquil sleep at last
The well-known bed so oft desired.
[tr. Lamb (1821)]

Sweetest of sweets to me that pastime seems,
When the mind drops her burden: when -- the pain
Of travel past -- our own cot we regain
And nestle on the pillow of our dreams.
[tr. Calverley (1862)]

Oh! what more blessèd than to find
Release from all our cares!
When layeth down the weary mind
The burden that it bears:
When, all our toil of travel o'er,
Our hearth again we tread,
And lay us down in peace once more
On the long-wish'd-for bed.
[tr. Cranstoun (1867)]

Days of happiness and bless,
What in life can match with this?
When with lightened heart the mind
Care and sorrow leaves behind,
And our weary wanderings o'er,
We have reached our own loved door,
And so no more abroad to roam,
Taste the dear delights of home.
[tr. Bliss (1872)]

Is there a scene more sweet than when
our clinging cares are undercase,
And, worn by alien moils and men,
The long untrodden sill repassed,
We press the kindly couch at last,
And find a full repayment there?
[tr. Hardy (1887)]

Oh what more blessèd be than cares resolved,
When mind casts burthen and by peregrine
Work over wearied, lief we hie us home
To lie reposing in the longed-for bed!
[tr. Burton (1893)]

O what greater blessing than cares released, when the mind casts down its burden, and when wearied with the toil of travel we reach our hearth, and rest in the long-for bed.
[tr. Smithers (1894)]

To think, O joy! that once again
I should be here upon my native soil!
At ease! O guerdon sweet! when, after wars,
With journeyings and vigils sore bestead,
Our own old home we come to, and the bed
So often longed for under alien stars.
[tr. Harman (1897)]

Ah , what is more blessed than to put cares away, when the mind lays by its burden, and tired with labour of far travel we have come to our own home and rest on the couch we longed for.
[tr. Warre Cornish (1904)]

O what is sweeter than when loosed from care, when the mind throws down its burden, way-worn we reach our own hearth and at last find repose in the bed we have so often longed for.
[tr. Stuttaford (1912)]

Oh, what is sweeter than, when toil is past,
To come back home, the mind care-free at last,
The foreign labors done, the rest well-earned,
To seek the welcome couch for which we've yearned?
[tr. Stewart (1915)]

What joys so keen as all one's cares to shed,
To ease the burdened mind, no more to roam,
All travel-worn to reach th' ancestral home,
And rest at length in the long looked for bed.
[tr. Symons-Jeune (1923)]

Joy beyond joy to loose the cares that chafe
And lay aside the burden of the mind!
Home after toilsome travel, home once more,
Snug in the cosy bed we wearied for.
[tr. MacNaghten (1925)]

Can there be more joy than this
To throw off the chains of office and in calm domestic bliss,
Wearied with the strain of travel, once again to rest my head,
Full reward of all my labours, in my dear, my longed-for bed?
[tr. Wright (1926)]

After many months of travel, nothing's better than to rest, relaxed and careless; sleep is heaven in our own beloved bed.
[tr. Gregory (1931)]

For what can be more blissful than to ease
One's troubles, when the mind puts off its load
And I return, all care-worn, to my hearth
And sleep in the bed I've longed for?
[tr. Hollander (1976)]

What could be better? Every care dissolving, shedding the burden of an exhausting journey, back home among the gods of our own household we find at last the couch, the rest we desired!
[tr. C. Martin (1979)]

O what freedom from care is more joyful
than when the mind lays down its burden,
and weary, back home from foreign toil,
we rest in the bed we longed for?
[tr. Kline (2001)]

What greater bliss than when, cares all dissolved,
the mind lays down its burden, and, exhausted
by our foreign labors we at last reach home
and sink into the bed we've so long yearned for?
[tr. Green (2005)]

O what is happier than worries released,
when the mind sets aside its burden, and we
having been exhausted from foreign labor, have come to our home,
and we rest in our longed for bed?
[tr. Wikisource (2018)]

Added on 3-Sep-11 | Last updated 3-Jun-24
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More quotes by Catullus

I still should not want you to smile on all occasions:
for nothing is more silly than a silly smile.

[Tamen renidere usque quaque te nollem;
Nam risu inepto res ineptior nulla est.]

gaius valerius catullus
Catullus (c. 84 BC – c. 54 BC) Latin poet [Gaius Valerius Catullus]
Carmina # 39 “To Egnatius,” ll. 15-16 [tr. McDonnell (1998)]

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

E'en then that ceaseless ill-tim'd grin forego:
A silly laugh's the silliest thing I know.
[tr. Nott (1795), # 37]

I'd say renounce thy ceaseless idiot grin,
A silly laugh is folly, if not sin.
[tr. Cranstoun (1867)]

Yet sweetly smiling ever I would have you not,
For silly laughter, it's a silly thing indeed.
[tr. Ellis (1871)]

Yet thy incessant grin I would not see,
For naught than laughter silly sillier be.
[tr. Burton (1893)]

Still I wish you wouldn't grin forever everywhere; for nothing is more senseless than senseless giggling.
[tr. Smithers (1894)]

Still I should not like you to be smiling everlastingly; for there is nothing more silly than a silly laugh.
[tr. Warre Cornish (1904)]

I would have you drop your endless grin: for nothing is more inane than inane laughter.
[tr. Stuttaford (1912)]

Still not to smile for aye is wisdom's rule:
For folly's laugh proclaims the peerless fool.
[tr. MacNaghten (1925)]

I still should still disapprove that constant smile;
It shows a silly, poor, affected style.
[tr. Wright (1926)]

Your smile would still offend me; nothing is worse
than senseless laughter from a foolish face.
[tr. Gregory (1931)]

I still wouldn't want to see you always grinning,
for nothing is more inept than inept laughter.
[tr. C. Martin (1979)]

I’d still not want you to smile all the time:
there’s nothing more foolish than foolishly smiling.
[tr. Kline (2001)]

I'd still not want you flashing yours all round since
nothing's more fatuous than a fatuous grin.
[tr. Green (2005)]

I still should not want you to smile on all occasions:
for nothing is more silly than a silly smile.
[tr. Wikisource (2018)]

Added on 12-Jun-24 | Last updated 12-Jun-24
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More quotes by Catullus

Hail, lady of no light footfall,
And eyes not black, and nose not small,
And lips not dry, and hands not long,
And, truly, not too nice a tongue,
The Formian bankrupt’s paramour.
The Province calls you dainty? Your
Face, and not Lesbia’s, is the rage?
O! dull and undiscerning age!

[Salve, nec minimo puella naso
nec bello pede nec nigris ocellis
nec longis digitis nec ore sicco
nec sane nimis elegante lingua,
decoctoris amica Formiani.
Ten provincia narrat esse bellam?
Tecum Lesbia nostra comparatur?
O saeclum insapiens et infacetum!]

gaius valerius catullus
Catullus (c. 84 BC – c. 54 BC) Latin poet [Gaius Valerius Catullus]
Carmina # 43 “To Mamurra’s Mistress” [tr. MacNaghten (1925)]

Mamurra, also known as Formianus (from the province of Formiae), was an ally of Caesar, but enemy of Catullus. Catullus devotes a number of his odes to attacking Mamurra or, in a few cases, his mistress (who, in some sources, is named Amiana or Ameana).

The poem is noteworthy both for cateloguing unattractive traits (Roman poetry and art make it clear what was considered attractive), and for the final line in its condemnation of a land that would ever place the unnamed mistress over the beauties of Catullus' beloved Lesbia.

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Though splaw thy feet, and snub thy nose,
Thy fingers short, and unlike sloes
Thine eyes in hue may be;
Thy lip with driv'lling moisture dew'd
Thy language vulgar, manners rude,
Yet, wanton, hail to thee!

And does the province praise thy grace;
And e'en presume thy form and face
With Lesbia to compare?
Then why should I thy charms dispraise
'Mid vulgar fools, in tasteless days,
'Tis useless to be fair.
[tr. Lamb (1821)]

Though a decided snub your nose,
Your feet the kind called stumpy,
Your eyes by no means black as sloes,
Your fingers fat and dumpy;
Your lip not peachy soft, your speech
Less aptr to charm than pain us;
Yet still I hail you, mistress frail
Of spendthrift Formianus.

The province, bless its stupid soul!
Is mad about your beauty,
So let me also pay my toll
Of homage and of duty.
But then they say your shape, your grace,
My Lesbia's, mine, surpasses!
Oh woe, to live with such a race
Of buzzards, owls, and asses!
[tr. T. Martin (1861)]

Hail, maiden! with nor little nose,
Nor pretty foot, nor jet-black eye,
Nor fingers long, nor mouth e'er dry,
Nor tongue whence pleasing prattle flows.
You spendthrift Formian's heart engage;
And doth the province call you fair,
And Lesbia's charms with yours compare?
O witless and O boorish age!
[tr. Cranstoun (1867)]

Hail, fair virgin, a nose among the larger,
Feet not dainty, nor eyes to match a raven,
Mouth scarce tenible, hands not wholly faultless,
Tongue most surely not absolute refinement,
Bankrupt Formian, your declar'd devotion.
Thou the beauty, the talk of all the province?
Thou my Lesbia tamely think to rival?
O preposterous, empty generation!
[tr. Ellis (1871)]

Hail, girl who neither nose of minim size
Owns, nor a pretty foot, nor jetty eyes,
Nor thin long fingers, nor mouth dry of slaver
Nor yet too graceful tongue of pleasant flavour,
Leman to Formian that rake-a-hell.
What, can the Province boast of thee as belle?
Thee with my Lesbia durst it make compare?
O Age insipid, of all humour bare!
[tr. Burton (1893)]

Hail, girl with nose not the smallest, and with foot not lovely, and with eyes not black, and with fingers not long, and with mouth not dry and with tongue not so very elegant, the wench of the bankrupt Formian. And the province declares you to be lovely? With you our Lesbia is to be compared? O generation witless and unmannerly!
[tr. Smithers (1894)]

I greet you, lady, you who neither have a tiny nose, nor a pretty foot, nor black eyes, nor long fingers, nor dry mouth, nor indeed a very refined tongue, mistress of the bankrupt Formiae. Is it you who are pretty, as the Province tells us? is it with you that our Lesbia is compared? O, this age! how tasteless and illbred it is!
[tr. Warre Cornish (1904)]

Hail, maid with nose by no means small, foot by no means shapely, eyes by no means of jet, fingers by no means long, mouth by no means dry, speech by no means too refined, friend of the Formian waster. Do the provincials call you beautiful? Do they compare you with my Lesbia? Oh foolish and tasteless age!
[tr. Stuttaford (1912)]

Pshaw, little girl, you're much too small,
You've scarcely any nose at all.
Your feet are shapeless, fingers, too,
Your eyes a dull and faded blue.
With lips as parched as last year's peas.
And silly tongue, untaught to please.
They say that Formian calls you fair.
And that they praise you everywhere.
A dull and senseless age -- ah me.
If they could Lesbia's beauty see!
[tr. Stewart (1915)]

Thy nose is broad and large thy feet,
Thine eyes are neither dark nor clear,
Thy hands are squat, thy lips unsweet,
Thy language shocks a decent ear.
Thy province swears that thou art fair,
O mistress of a village beau!
Swears thou with Lesbia canst compare;
O tasteless age, thy wits how slow!
[tr. Symons-Jeune (1923)]

Good morning, dear lady; your nose is too long,
Your fingers too stumpy, your language too strong.
Your feet are ill shaped, and your lips wet with slobber,
Your eyes pale and dull; and your lover's a robber,
Who won't pay his debts. Yet withal people hold
You a beauty , when you're in the country, I'm told.
To think that dull fools for one instant should dare
Your charms with my Lesbia's face to compare!
[tr. Wright (1926)]

Listen, girl: your nose is not too small and
your foot somehow lacks shapeliness, your eyes
are not so bright , your fingers though they should be
are neither long nor graceful , nor can your lips
(mouth dripping) be kissed for love, nor is your speech
soft music.
And this girl is the lady friend
of that debauched citizen Mamurra.
They say that you are lovely (rumours from the provinces)
comparing you with Lesbia.
The times are bad
and this an ignorant generation.
[tr. Gregory (1931)]

Greetings, girl! You haven't got much --
Neither small nose, nor a pretty foot,
Dark eyes, or slender hands to touch,
No dry mouth; the way you put
Your phrases isn't neat at all,
Mistress of the bankrupt man
From Formiae -- but Cisalpine Gaul
Says you're lovely, lovelier than
My Lesbia, even? Oh, enough!
This ignorant age -- how rude and rough!
[tr. Hollander (1976)]

Greetings ot you, girl of the nose not tiny,
the feet not pretty, eyes not darkly-shadowed,
stubby fat fingers, mouth forever spraying
language that shows us your lack of refinement,
whore of that bankrupt wastrel from Formiae!
Is it your beauty they praise in the province?
Do they compare you to our Lesbia?
Mindless this age. And insensitive, really.
[tr. C. Martin (1979)]

Hello, girl, neither with the smallest nose,
Nor with pretty feet nor with black little eyes
Nor with long fingers nor with dry lips
Nor clearly with a very refined tongue.
Girl/friend of the spendthrift from Formiae,
Does the province report that you are beautiful?
Is our Lesbia compared with you?
O tasteless and crude age!
[tr. Drudy (1997)]

Greetings, girl with a nose not the shortest,
feet not so lovely, eyes not of the darkest,
fingers not slender, mouth never healed,
and a not excessively charming tongue,
bankrupt Formianus’s ‘little friend’.
And the Province pronounces you beautiful?
To be compared to my Lesbia?
O witless and ignorant age!
[tr. Kline (2001)]

Hello, girl without the smallest nose
Nor pretty feet, nor dark eyes
Nor elegant fingers nor dry mouth
Nor language int he least refined
Girlfriend of that bankrupt from Formia.
So country people call you beautiful?!
Our Lesbia is compared with you?!
Oh, what a stupid and tasteless age this is!
[tr. Wikibooks (2017)]

Greetings, you girl with neither a little nose,
nor handsome feet, black little eyes
long fingers, a dry mouth,
and truly tongue not exceedingly elegant.
Girlfriend of the bankrupt of Formiae,
does the province say that you are beautiful?
Is our Lesbia compared with you?
Oh foolish and coarse generation!
[tr. Wikisource (2018)]

Howdy, girl with the not-small nose,
Feet not beautiful, eyes not black,
Fingers not long, the lips not dry,
A tongue not quite so elegant,
“Friend” of a Formian bankrupt.
The sticks proclaim you’re beautiful?
With you our Lesbia is compared?
O times, unthinking and vulgar!
[tr. @sentantiq (2021)]

Added on 19-Jun-24 | Last updated 19-Jun-24
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More quotes by Catullus

Then kiss me, sweet, while kiss we may.
A thousand kisses, hundreds then.
And straightway we’ll begin again —
Another thousand, hundreds more.
And still a thousand as before.
Till hundred thousands we shall kiss.
And lose all count in drunken bliss,
Lest green-eyed envy, in dull spite,
Should steal away our deep delight.
[Da mi basia mille, deinde centum,
dein mille altera, dein secunda centum,
deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum,
dein, cum milia multa fecerimus,
conturbabimus illa, ne sciamus,
aut ne quis malus invidere possit,
cum tantum sciat esse basiorum.]

gaius valerius catullus
Catullus (c. 84 BC – c. 54 BC) Latin poet [Gaius Valerius Catullus]
Carmina # 5 “To Lesbia,” ll. 8-14 [tr. Stewart (1915)]

One of Catulllus' most popular and widely-translated poems.

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Then let amorous kisses dwell
On our lips, begin and tell
A thousand, and a Hundred score,
An Hundred and a Thousand more,
Till another Thousand smother
That, and that wipe off another.
Thus at last when we have numbred
Many a Thousand, many a Hundred,
We'll confound the reckoning quite,
And lose ourselves in wild delight:
While our joyes so multiply
As shall mocke the envious eye.
[tr. Crashaw (1648)]

Give me, then, a thousand kisses,
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
Till the sum of boundless blisses
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
Neither we nor envy know.
[tr. Langhorne (c. 1765)]

Then first a thousand kisses give,
An hundred let me next receive,
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
Another thousand yet;
To these a second hundred join,
Still be another thousand mine,
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
An hundred then repeat:
Such countless thousands let there be,
Sweetly confus'd ; that even we
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
May know not the amount;
That envy, so immense a store
Beholding, may not have the pow'r
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
Each various kiss to count.
[tr. Nott (1795)]

Then come, with whom alone I'll live,
A thousand kisses take and give!
Another thousand! to the store
Add hundreds -- then a thousand more!
And when they to a million mount,
Let confusion take the account, --
That you, the number never knowing,
May continue still bestowing
That I for joys may never pine,
Which never can again be mine!
[tr. Coleridge (1798)]

Give me kisses thousand-fold,
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
Add to them a hundred more;
Other thousands still be told
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
Other hundreds o'er and o'er.
But, with thousands when we burn,
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
Mix, confuse the sums at last,
That we may not blushing learn
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
All that have between us past.
None shall know to what amount
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
Envy's due for so much bliss;
None -- for none shall ever count
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
All the kisses we will kiss.
[tr. Lamb (1821)]

Give me then a thousand kisses,
Add a hundred to my blisses,
Then a thousand more, and then
Add a hundred once again.
Crown me with a thousand more,
Give a hundred as before,
Then kiss on without cessation,
Till we lose all calculation,
And no envy mar our blisses,
Hearing of such heaps of kisses.
[tr. T. Martin (1861)]

Then, charmer mine, with lip divine!
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
Give me a thousand kisses;
A hundred then, then hundreds ten,
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
Then other hundred blisses.
Lip thousands o'er, sip hundreds more
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
With panting ardour breathing;
Fill to the brim love's cup, its rim
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
With rosy blossoms wreathing.
We'll mix them then, lest to our ken
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
Should come our store of blisses,
Or envious wight should know, and blight
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
So many honey' d kisses.
[tr. Cranstoun (1867)]

Thousand kisses, anon to these an hundred,
Thousand kisses again, another hundred,
Thousand give me again, another hundred.
Then once heedfully counted all the thousands,
We'll uncount them as idly; so we shall not
Know, nor traitorous eye shall envy, knowing
All those myriad happy many kisses.
[tr. Ellis (1871)]

Kiss me a thousand times, then hundred more,
Then thousand others, then a new five-score,
Still other thousand other hundred store.
Last when the sums to many thousands grow,
The tale let's trouble till no more we know,
Nor envious wight despiteful shall misween us
Knowing how many kisses have been kissed between us.
[tr. Burton (1893)]

Give me a thousand kisses, and then a hundred, then another thousand, then a second hundred, then another thousand without resting, then a hundred. Then, when we have made many thousands, we will confuse the count lest we know the numbering, so that no one can cast an evil eye on us through knowing the number of our kisses.
[tr. Smithers (1894)]

Come, in yonder nook reclining,
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
Where the honeysuckle climbs,
Let us mock at Fate's designing,
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
Let us kiss a thousand times!
And if they shall prove too few, dear,
When they're kissed we'll start anew, dear!
And should any chance to see us,
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
Goodness! how they'll agonize!
How they'll wish that they could be us,
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
Kissing in such liberal wise!
Never mind their envious whining;
Come, my Lesbia, no repining!
[tr. Field (1896)]

Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred, then another thousand, then a second hundred, then yet another thousand, then a hundred. Then, when we have made up many thousands, we will confuse our counting, that we may not know the reckoning, nor any malicious person blight them with evil eye, when he knows that our kisses are so many.
[tr. Warre Cornish (1904)]

Give me then a thousand kisses, then a hundred, then another thousand, then a second hundred, then still another thousand, then one more hundred, then when we have had many a thousand, let us jostle them up, so that we may not keep count and no jealous-eyed person may envy us, knowing the number of our kisses.
[tr. Stuttaford (1912)]

Then oh my Lesbia!
Live and love!
Quick to my arms, and quick to my heart!
A thousand kisses!
Ten thousand kisses!
Have done with a million! Then start
Again; for I fear
Some wretch may envy us, dear,
[tr. Dement (1915)]

Come then , give me of kisses now a hundred,
Then a thousand and then yet hundreds other;
When our kisses their many thousands measure,
Blot the score out and reckon it as nothing,
Lest some evil eye paralyse our pleasure,
Seeing jealously such a wealth of loving.
[tr. Symons-Jeune (1923)]

A thousand kisses, then five score,
A thousand and a hundred more,
Then one for each you gave before.
Then, as the many thousands grow,
We'll wreck the counting lest we know,
Or lest an evil eye prevail
Through knowledge of the kisses' tale.
[tr. MacNaghten (1925)]

Let me a hundred kisses take
And then of them a thousand make,
A hundred and a thousand more
Repeated twice shall swell the score.
But when to thousands we shall get,
We will the reckoning upset;
That none may envy us our bliss
Knowing the number of each kiss.
[tr. Wright (1926)]

Twice ten thousand more bestow,
Give me a thousand kisses,
then a hundred, another thousand,
another hundred
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
and in one breath
still kiss another thousand,
another hundred.
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
O then with lips and bodies joined
many deep thousands;
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
their number
Twice ten thousand more bestow,
so that poor fools and cuckolds (envious
even now) shall never
learn our wealth and curse us
with their
evil eyes.
[tr. Gregory (1931)]

Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred,
another thousand next, another hundred,
a thousand without pause & then a hundred,
until when we have run up our thousands
we will cry bankrupt, hiding our assets
from ourselves & any who would harm us,
knowing the volume of our trade in kisses.
[tr. C. Martin (1979)]

Give me a thousand kisses, a hundred more,
another thousand, and another hundred,
and, when we’ve counted up the many thousands,
confuse them so as not to know them all,
so that no enemy may cast an evil eye,
by knowing that there were so many kisses.
[tr. Kline (2001)]

Give me a thousand kisses, then another hundred,
then another thousand, then a second hundred,
then yet another thousand more, then another hundred.
Then, when we have made many thousands,
we will mix them all up so that we don't know,
and so that no one can be jealous of us when he finds out
how many kisses we have shared.
[tr. Negenborn (1997)]

Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred,
then a thousand more, a second hundred,
then yet another thousand then a hundred
then when we've notched up all these many thousands,
shuffle the figures, lose count of the total,
so no maleficent enemy can hex us
knowing the final sum of all our kisses.
[tr. Green (2005)]

So kiss me, Sweet, and kiss me plenty:
First a thousand, then a hundred kisses;
Then catch your breath and kiss me more:
Another thousand, another hundred,
Still thousands yet till we've lost all count
And must begin again, keeping
Envious others guessing the sum
Of how many kisses much we love.
[tr. Hager (2006)]

Give me a thousand kisses and then a hundred,
then another thousand and a second hundred,
And even then another thousand, a hundred more.
When we’ve had so many thousands,
we will mix them together so we don’t know,
so that no wicked man can feel envy
when he knows what a number of kisses there’ve been.
[tr. @sentantiq (2015)]

Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred,
then a thousand others, then a second hundred,
then up to a thousand others, then a hundred.
Then, when we have made many thousands,
we will mix them up, lest we should know,
--or lest any evil person should be able to envy us
when he knows--how many kisses there are.
[tr. Wikibooks (2017)]

Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred,
then another thousand, then a second hundred,
then immediately a thousand then a hundred.
then, when we will have made many thousand kisses,
we will throw them into confusion, lest we know,
or lest anyone bad be able to envy
when he knows there to be so many kisses.
[tr. Wikisource (2018)]

Added on 17-Apr-24 | Last updated 17-Apr-24
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More quotes by Catullus