Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Catullus, Poem 35

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

POETAE tenero, meo sodali,
uelim Caecilio, papyre,
[Let me wish for you <to say> to the poet Caecilius, my companion, you sheet of papyrus,]

Veronam ueniat,
[please tell him to visit Verona,]

Noui relinquens
Comi moenia Lariumque litus.
[as he leaves the city walls of Novum Comum and the shores of his household gods.]

nam quasdam uolo cogitationes
amici accipiat sui meique.
[You see, I wish that he hear some thoughts from his friend, and mine own.]

quare, si sapiet, uiam uorabit,
[wherefore, if he knows how, he will devour the road,]

quamuis candida milies puella
euntem reuocet,
[no matter how much his shining girlfriend calls him back, he who travels mile upon mile,]

 manusque collo
ambas iniciens roget morari.
[and throwing both arms around my neck, she asks why you delay.]

quae nunc, si mihi uera nuntiantur,
illum deperit impotente amore.
[This is the girl now, if the things announced to me are true, who causes him to perish from his powerless love.]

nam quo tempore legit incohatam
Dindymi dominam,
[You see, at the very time that she reads about the famous mistress of Dindymos,]

 ex eo misellae
ignes interiorem edunt medullam.
[from this, miserable little fires eat out the insides of his bones.]

ignosco tibi, Sapphica puella
musa doctior;
[I am unfamiliar to you, girl who are more learned than Sappho's muse;]

est enim uenuste
Magna Caecilio incohata Mater.
[you see, the Great Mother is called upon by Caecilius in his own charming way.]