Monday, May 9, 2011

Catullus, Poem 43

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

 SALVE, nec minimo puella naso
nec bello pede nec nigris ocellis
nec longis digitis nec ore sicco
nec sane nimis elegante lingua,
decoctoris amica Formiani.
[Hello, you girl, with not the smallest nose, or cute feet, or dark black eyes, or slender fingers, or dry face, or in any respect, too elegant of a tongue, the girlfriend of Formian hack.]

ten prouincia narrat esse bellam?
[Does our province say that you, YOU, are pretty?]

tecum Lesbia nostra comparatur?
[Is my girl Lesbia compared alongside the likes of you?]

o saeclum insapiens et infacetum!
[Wow, what a stupid and witless time we live in!]