Friday, March 11, 2011

Catullus, Poem 1

Gaius Valerius Catullus
84-54 BCE (over 2,000 years ago)
Trans RMBullard
Latin (Golden Age)

Cui dono lepidum novuum libellum arida/modo pumice expolitum?
(For whom do I give this new charming little book, just polished with pumice?)

Corneli, tibi: namque tu solebas/meas esse aliquid putare nugas/iam tum, cum ausus es unus Italorum omne aevuum tribus explicare cartis/doctis, Iuppiter, et laboriosis.
(Cornelius, for you: for you were accustomed to think my hobbies to be worth something, even then, when you alone dared to roll out the entire age of the Italian lineage in three learned and long labored-upon letters;)

quare habe tibi quidquid hoc libelli qualecumque;
(so keep for yourself this little book, whatever it may be;)

quod, o patrona virgo, plus uno maneat perenne saeclo;
(which, my patron virgin, may it endure endlessly for a century.)