Saturday, March 5, 2011

Catullus, Poem 68

Gaius Valerius Catullus

84-54 BCE
Trans RMBullard
Latin (Republican Era/Golden Age of Latin Literature)

Non possum reticere, deae, qua me Allius in re
iuuerit aut quantis iuuerit officiis,
ne fugiens saeclis obliuiscentibus aetas
illius hoc caeca nocte tegat studium:
(I can't stay quiet, you goddesses, about the type of help Allius has given me, or by how great a number of favors he has helped with, out of fear that Allius' life, fading away over the forgetful centuries, might seal from sight his passion in the blind blackness of night.)

sed dicam uobis, uos porro dicite multis
milibus et facite haec carta loquatur anus.
(But let me speak to you; then, tell it to many thousands of people, and make this sheet of paper speak like an experienced elderly grandmother.)

notescatque magis mortuus atque magis,
nec tenuem texens sublimis aranea telam
in deserto Alli nomine opus faciat.
(And as a dead man, let him be known more and more; don't let a spider, spinning her thin thread way up there, make her work upon the forgotten name of Allius.)

nam, mihi quam dederit duplex Amathusia curam,
scitis, et in quo me torruerit genere,
cum tantum arderem quantum Trinacria rupes
lymphaque in Oetaeis Malia Thermopylis,
maesta neque assiduo tabescere lumina fletu
(You know why? Just as Amathusia[times two] stopped caring about me, you know, and had torched me in that way, when I used to burn as much as Trinacian Sicily's cliffs on Vesuvius and the Malian hot springs in Oetaen Thermopylae of Greece; no, my depressed tears could not stop soaking my face from their constant falling.)

tristique imbre madere genae.
(...and my cheeks could not stop flooding with wretched rain from my eyes.)

qualis in aerii perlucens uertice montis
riuus muscoso prosilit e lapide,
qui cum de prona praeceps est ualle uolutus,
per medium densi transit iter populi,
dulce uiatori lasso in sudore leuamen,
cum grauis exustos aestus hiulcat agros:
(There's certain stream, shining out from the top of an air-breaching mountain, that leaps out from a mossy boulder, and when it flies down the sloping valley, it made its journey right through the middle of the dense population; it's a sweet relief for a traveler weary in his midst of sweat, when the summer heat, heavy as it is, lashes the burnt out fields.)