Monday, May 9, 2011

Catullus, Poem 42

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

 ADESTE, hendecasyllabi, quot estis
omnes undique,
[Come out, hendecasyllables, as many as you are all, and from everywhere, ]

 quotquot estis omnes.
[as many as there possibly are of you.]

iocum me putat esse moecha turpis,
[A filthy whore thinks that I'm a joke,]

et negat mihi nostra reddituram
pugillaria, si pati potestis.
[and she refuses to return my notepads to me, if you can even bear to hear it.]

persequamur eam et reflagitemus.
[Let's get after her, and slap her over and over again.]

quae sit, quaeritis?
["Who might this be," you ask?]

illa, quam uidetis
turpe incedere, mimice ac moleste
ridentem catuli ore Gallicani.
[This girl, the disgusting one you see walking up, is the one who's laughing like a clown, and insolently, with a mouth like Gallic pup.]

circumsistite eam, et reflagitate,
[Stand around her, and strike her repeatedly,]

'moecha putida, redde codicillos,
["Filthy bitch, return my notes,]

redde putida moecha, codicillos!'
[filthy bitch, return my notes!"]

non assis facis?
[You don't give a rat's ass?]

o lutum, lupanar,
aut si perditius potes quid esse.
[O go to fall in some shit, or a whorehouse, or something even more dangerous if you could manage it.]

sed non est tamen hoc satis putandum.
[But, no, this matter's not yet been thought out enough.]

quod si non aliud potest ruborem
ferreo canis exprimamus ore.
[But if nothing else can be managed, let me press that blush out on your iron face with my songs.]

conclamate iterum altiore uoce.
[Once again, shout out, all together, in an even louder voice.]

'moecha putide, redde codicillos,
["Filthy bitch, return my notes,]

redde, putida moecha, codicillos!'
["Filthy bitch, return my notes!"]

sed nil proficimus, nihil mouetur.
[but I'm getting no one, nothing is happening.]

mutanda est ratio modusque uobis,
[Your rhythm needs adjustment, and your meter,]

siquid proficere amplius potestis:
[if you can somehow manage to boom even louder:]

'pudica et proba, redde codicillos.'
["You bitch and skank, return my notes."]