Friday, May 20, 2011

Catullus, Poem 44

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

O FVNDE noster seu Sabine seu Tiburs
[O plantation, the Sabine one, or better yet, the one in Tivoli,]

(nam te esse Tiburtem autumant,
[you see, people say that you are a part of Tivoli,]

quibus non est
cordi Catullum laedere;
[that is, those who don't care to offend Catullus;]

 at quibus cordi est,
[but to those that do care,]

quouis Sabinum pignore esse contendunt),
[they contend by whatever pledge possible that you are Sabine]

sed seu Sabine siue uerius Tiburs,
[but whether you are Sabine, or more accurately, belong to Tivoli,]

fui libenter in tua suburbana
[I once enjoyed being in your country estate outside the city,]

 malamque pectore expuli tussim,
[and I cast out a terrible cold from my chest,]

non inmerenti quam mihi meus uenter,
dum sumptuosas appeto, dedit, cenas.
[which my stomach gave to me, undeserving of course, while I was ravenous for sumptuous dinners.]

nam, Sestianus dum uolo esse conuiua,
[You see, although I wish to be dinner guest in Sestius' house,]

orationem in Antium petitorem
plenam ueneni et pestilentiae legi.
[I finished reading a prosecution speech against Antius, one full of venom and pestilence.]

hic me grauedo frigida et frequens tussis
quassauit usque, dum in tuum sinum fugi,
[At that point, a freezing cold and constant coughing shook me so much, while I fleed to your lap,]

et me recuraui otioque et urtica.
[and I healed myself from nettle and taking it easy.]

quare refectus maximas tibi grates
[So that's why, I, now recovered, give you the greatest thanks of all,]

 meum quod non es ulta peccatum.
[because you have not avenged yourself against my mistake.]

nec deprecor iam,
[I no longer excuse myself,]

si nefaria scripta
Sesti recepso,
[if I ever receive the nefarious writings of Sestius,]

 quin grauedinem et tussim
non mihi,
[not because of the cough and cold I had,]

sed ipsi Sestio ferat frigus,
[but because it might bear frost upon Sestius himself,]

qui tunc uocat me, cum malum librum legi.
[that is, the man who gives me an invitation, when I finished reading a perfidious book.]