Friday, March 11, 2011

Catullus, Poem 76

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

Si qua recordanti benefacta priora* voluptas
est homini, cum se cogitat esse pium*,
nec sanctam violasse fidem*, nec foedere* in ullo
divum ad fallendos numine abusum homines*,
multa parata* manent* in longa aetate, Catulle,
ex hoc ingrato* gaudia amore tibi*.
(If there is any pleasure for a man in recalling the good deeds he has made in the past, since he thinks that he has been a good man, and that he has not violated the sacred bond of faith, and that he has not broken any sacred pact made by divine right of the gods so that he can deceive other men...then, Catullus, many joys rewarded await you in your long life as a compensation for the ingratitude shown me.)

nam quaecumque homines bene cuiquam* aut dicere possunt
aut facere, haec a te dictaque factaque sunt+:
(See, each and every thing men can say or do out of kindess for someone, they have been said and done by you, Catullus.)

omnia quae ingratae perierunt credita menti.
(That is, all the things that have killed over as soon as they trusted themselves to the mind of an ingrate.)

quare cur tu te iam amplius excrucies?
(Come on, why are still torturing yourself so much, Catullus?)

quin tu animo offirmas*+ atque istinc teque reducis*
et dis invitis*+ desinis esse miser*?
(So you, Catullus, you won't get over it, you won't take yourself away from her, you won't stop being a miserable wretch, even though the gods are unwilling?)

difficile est longum* subito deponere amorem*+;
(It's so hard to abandon a long relationship so suddenly;)

difficile est, verum hoc qua libet* efficias.
(It's so hard, but you could really do it whenever you want.)

una salus haec est. hoc est tibi peruincendum.

una salus haec est, hoc est tibi pervincendum;
(This is your only salvation, that you can really get over this.)

hoc facias, sive id non pote* sive pote.
(You have to do this, whether you can or not.)

o di, si vestrum est misereri, aut si quibus unquam
extremam* iam ipsa in morte tulistis opem,
me miserum adspicite et, si vitam puriter egi,
eripite hanc pestem perniciemque* mihi,
quae mihi subrepens* imos* ut torpor* in artus*
expulit ex omni pectore laetitias.
(O gods, if you have ever felt pity, or if you have ever given a final reward to those pitiable men now lying in death, cast you eye to me, a desperate wretch, and if I have ever live my life right, rip this plague and suffering out of me, which has completely cast out happiness from my heart, like a dullness creeping deep into my limbs.)

non iam illud quaero, contra ut me diligat illa,
aut quod non potis est, esse pudica uelit:
(I'm not asking that Lesbia like me now against her will, or that she wish to be faithful to me, which is something that it's not possible.)

ipse ualere opto et taetrum hunc deponere morbum.
(I just wish to be strong...and to leave behind this terrible disease.)

O di, reddite mi hoc pro pietate mea.
(O gods, return this to me, for the sake of my faith in you.)