Friday, March 11, 2011

Catullus, Poem 3

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

Lugete, o Veneres Cupidinesque/et quantum est hominum venustiorum;
(Weep, o Venuses and Cupids, and how many there are of very charming people;)

passer mortuus est meae puellae/passer, deliciae meae puellae/quem plus illa oculis suis amabat;
(my girl's sparrow is dead, the sparrow, the love of my girl, whom she loved more than her own eyes;)

nam mellitus erat suamque norat/ipsam tam bene quam puella matrem/nec sese a gremio illius movebat/sed circumsiliens modo huc modo illuc ad solam dominam usque pipiabat;
(for he was sweet, and the girl cared for him more than his own mother herself, nor did he used to leave her lap, but he would constantly chirp at the mistress alone, hopping here and there;)

qui nunc it per iter tenebricosum/illud, unde negant redire quemquem;
(now he goes on a shadowy journey, from whence they deny that anyone returns;)

at vobis male sit, malae tenebrae/Orci, quae omnia bella devoratis;
(but this wickedness belongs to you, wicked shadows of Orcus, who devour all things beautiful;)

tam bellum mihi passerem abstulistis;
(you have taken away such a beautiful sparrow from me;)

o factum male! o miselle passer!
(o wicked deed! o miserable little sparrow!)

tua nunc opera meae puellae/flendo turgiduli rubent ocelli.
(Now, for your deed, the swollen eyes of my girl grow red from weeping.)

Image: A deceased sparrow []