Friday, March 11, 2011

Catullus, Poem 10

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

Varus me meus ad suos amores/visum duxerat e foro otiosum/scortillum, ut mihi tum repente visum est/non sane illepidum neque invenustum.
(My friend Varus led me, at leisure from the forum, to his girlfriend, a promiscuous girl, as she immediately seemed to me not to be uncultured and unrefined enough;)

huc ut venimus, incidere nobis/sermones varii, in quibus, quid esset/iam Bithynia, quo modo se haberet/et quonam mihi profuisset aere.
(So we came to this place; different conversations came up between us: what was happening now in Bithynia, how was he was doing, and how money came for me;)

respondi id quod erat, nihil neque ipsis/nec praetoribus esse nec cohorti/cur quisquam caput unctius referret/praesertim quibus esset irrumator/praetor, nec faceret pili cohortem.
(I replied that what story was: how nothing came for praetors, and why no one of the embassy returned with a greasier head, and especially how the praetor was ass-fucker, and how he did not give his workers a single cent;)

‘at certe tamen,’ inquiunt, ‘quod illic/natum dicitur esse, comparasti/ad lecticam homines.’
(They say, ‘But still, really, whatever is said to have happened there, you still have men to carry your litter’)

Ego, ut puellae/unum me facerem beatiorem/’non’ inquam ‘mihi tam fuit maligne/ut, provincia quod mala incidisset/non possem octo homines parare rectos.’
(I, so that I could make myself a cooler guy to the lady, say, “It wasn’t so bad for me that, whatever had happened in that wicked province, I could not prepare eight litter-carrying men’)

at mi nullus erat nec nec hic neque illic/fractum qui veteris pedem grabati/in collo sibi collocare posset.
(But not one man belonged to me, on this side or that, I, who could only say that the foot of an old couch around the neck belonged to him;)

hic illa, ut decuit cinaediorem/’quaeso,’ inquit ‘mihi, mi Catulle, paulum/istos commoda: nam volo ad Serapim/deferri.’
(Then she, as befits a girl used to the doggy-style, says, “My Catullus, I find my own men to be inadequate in leisure: sure, I want to be carried downhill to Serapis.’)

‘mane,’ inquii puellae/’istud quod modo dixeram me habere/fugit me ratio: meus sodalis—Cinna est Gaius,--is sibi paravit.
(‘Hold on,’ I said to the girl, ‘I realize what I have just said, my memory escaped me: my buddy—he’s Gaius Cinna—he prepared a litter for himself too;)

verum, utrum illius an mei, quid ad me?
(Really, either his or mine, what’s it to me?)

utor tam bene quam mihi pararim.
(I’m only useful because I prepared my own;)

sed tu insulsa male et molesta vivis/per quam non licet esse neglegentem.’
(But you live fiendishly, a tasteless and annoying girl, for which reason, you should not be rude.’)