Friday, March 11, 2011

Catullus, Poem 4

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

Phaselus ille, quem videtis, hospites/ait fuisse navium celerrimus/neque ullius natantis impetum trabis/nequisse praeterire, sive palmulis/opus foret volare sive linteo.
(This famous Phaselus, which you see, my friends, has said that he was once the swiftest of ships, and that no flight of any sailing beams excelled him, whether it was a work from palmetto or any other wood made to glide;)

et hoc negat minacis Hadriatici/negare litus insulasve Cycladas/Rhodumque nobilem horridam Thraciam/Propontida trucemve Ponticum sinum/ubi iste post phaselus antea fuit/comata silva;
(And he denies that the shore of the menacing Adriatic or the Cyclades islands or distinguished Rhodes refused him, or shivering Thrace or the Propontus or the fierce gulf of the Pontus, where afterwards this Phaselus landed on a full-haired forest;)

nam Cytorio in iugo/loquente saepe sibilum edidit coma.
(And the hair often gave out a hiss in the whispering Cytorian mountain range;)

Amastri Pontica et Cytore buxifer/tibi haec fuisse et esse cognitissima/ait phaselus:
(You, sea of the Amastrus and cattle-bearing Cytore, the Phaselus says that these belonged to you and were well-known;)

ultima ex origine/tuo stetisse dicit in cacumine/tuo imbuisse palmulas in aequore/et inde tot per impotentia freta/erum tulisse, laeva sive dextera/vocaret aura, sive utrumque Iuppiter/simul secundus incidisset in pedem;
(He claims to have stood on your peak from the farthest beginning, to have dipped little palms in your water, and from there, carried his master so many times through vain worries, about whether the breeze would blow from either the left or the right, or whether at the same time, kind Jove would have sent either upon the foot-sail;)

neque ulla vota litoralibus deis/sibi esse facta, cum veniret a mari/novissimo hunc ad usque limpidum lacum;
(Nor were any prayers to shore gods to be made for him, since he had just came from the most recent sea all the way to a dirty lake;)

Sed haec prius fuere:
(But these things were in the past;)

nunc recondita/senet quiete seque dedicat tibi/gemelle Castor et gemelle Castoris.
(Now resettled, he grows old with rest and devotes himself to you, twin Castor, and you, the twin of Castor.)

Image: Interesting image of an ancient reconstructed ship [;_ylu=X3oDMTBsMW5yM3VoBHNlYwNwcm9mBHZ0aWQDSTA2Nl84OA--/SIG=12it7n5h8/EXP=1175124789/**http%3A//]