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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