Gaius Valerius Catullus
84-54 BCE (over 2,000 years ago)
Latin (Golden Age)
Marrucine Asini, manu sinistra/non belle uteris: in ioco atque vino/tollis lintea neglegentiorum.
(Marrucinus Asinius, with your left hand, you have not done well: you carry away my handkerchief in the jest and drinking of unnoticing fellows;)
hoc salsum esse putas? Fugit te, inepte: quamvis sordida res et invenusta est.
(Do you think this is funny? You must be crazy, you fool: really it’s a dirty and uncouth thing;)
non credis mihi? Crede Pollioni/fratri, qui tua furta vel talento/mutari velit:
(You don’t believe me? Believe your brother Pollio, who wished to step away from your thievery and talent;)
est enim leporum/differtus puer ac facetiarum.
(for he is boy full of charm and wits;)
quare aut hendecasyllabos trecentos/exspecta, aut mihi linteum remitte/quod me non movet aestimatione/verum est mnemosynum mei sodalis.
(Really, either expect 300 hendecasyllables, or give me back my tablecloth, though it doesn’t move me in its value, but truly it is a memento of my good friend;)
nam sudaria Saetaba ex Hiberis/miserunt mihi muneri Fabullus/et Veranius:
(For Fabullus and Veranius sent it to me as a gift from sweaty Saetaba in Iberia:)
haec amem necesse est/ut Veraniolum meum et Fabullum.
(I need to cherish it as though it were my own dear Veranius and Fabullus.)