Friday, March 11, 2011

Catullus, Poem 1

Gaius Valerius Catullus
c. 84-54 BCE (c. 2,061 years ago)
Trans RMBullard

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

Corneli, tibi: namque tu solebas/meas esse aliquid putare nugas/iam tum,
(Cornelius, for you: for you were accustomed to think my trifles to be worth something, even then,)

cum ausus es unus Italorum omne aevuum tribus explicare cartis/doctis, Iuppiter, et laboriosis.
(when you alone dared to roll out the entire age of the Italian race in three learned and hard-fashioned scrolls.)

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

quod, o patrona virgo/plus uno maneat perenne saeclo.
(and this, o virgin protectress, may it last continually for a hundred years.)

Image: Young Roman man holding a scroll (volumen) []

Painted plasterwork Ht. m.0.32; W. m 0.32 From Pompei VI Ins. Occ. National Archaeological Museum Naples Date: 55-79 A.D. Inv. 9085