Friday, March 11, 2011

Catullus, Poem 14

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

Ni te plus oculis meis amarem/iucundissime Calve, munere isto/odissem te odio Vatiniano:
(Though I loved you more than my own eyes, my most charming Calvus, I despise having to hate this gift from Vatinianus:)

nam quid feci ego quidve sum locutus/cur me tot male perderes poetis?
(Really, what have I done, or what have I said that has made you bombard me with such bad poets?)

isti di mala multa dent clienti/qui tantum tibi misit impiorum.
(May the gods bestow very many curses to the client who sent such a great deal of wickedness to you;)

quod si, ut suscipor, hoc novuum ac repertum/munus dat tibi Sulla litterator/non est mi male, sed bene ac beate/quod non dispereunt tui labores.
(Even if, as I suspect, the grammarian Sulla gives this new and discovered gift, it is not a bad thing to me, but well and blessedly, that your own works do not utterly vanish;)

di magni, horribilem et sacrum libellum!
(Good lord, what a horrible and god-awful little book!)

quem tu scilicet ad tuum Catullum/misti, continuo ut die periret/Saturnalibus,optimo dierum!
(Whomever you allowed it to be sent me, your own Catullus, let him forever perish, on the Saturnalia, the best of days!)

non non hoc tibi, false, sic abibit.
(No, it does not suit you well at all, you lier;)

nam, si luxerit, ad librariorum/curram scrinia, Caesios, Aquinos/Suffenum, omnia colligam venena/ac te his suppliciis remunenabor;
(Really, if he has played a joke, I shall run to the bookcases of my shelves, and I shall collect all my charming literature, Caesius, Aquinus, Suffenus; and I shall repay you with these peace offerings;)

vos hinc interea valete abite/illuc, unde malum pedem attulistis/saecli incommoda, pessimi poetae.
(Meanwhile, farewell, you papers, and scram from here, from where you have carried your evil step, annoyances for a generation, back to the very worst poet.)