Latin translations

All mistakes mine.

Catullus 1

To whom should I give this darling little volume,
That’s just been polished with dry pumice-stone?
It’s all yours, Cornelius: you were already in the habit
Of taking my fancies seriously when
You - alone of the Italians! - dared to undertake
A history of all time in three learned volumes
(And volumes full of work, by Jupiter).
So have this, whatever it is, my silly sheaf of poems,
There’s no genre even really, and pray with me
To my patroness it might be (yours) forever.

Catullus 51

That man seems equal to a god, to me,
Even (Gods forgive me) to surpass the gods,
Who sits across from you and watches you
And hears your sweet laughter
Which makes me a wreck, leaves me senseless:
The second I saw you, Lesbia, there was nothing to me,
[an empty line, an empty mouth.]
My tongue was numb, thin fire traced each limb,
My ears rang and I saw nothing, only night.
Laziness, Catullus, makes you sick,
You like it and you like it too much.
Remember that laziness brought low both kings
And happy cities.

Catullus 5

Let’s live, my Lesbia, let’s love,
Let’s put aside all the things mean old men may say
About you and me. They’re decrepit and they’re jealous.
The sun can sink and rise again,
But once we’re lowered into the earth we’re done for,
There’s only sleep, one eternal night.
Give me a thousand kisses, then kiss me again a hundred times,
Then another thousand, a second hundred,
Still another thousand. Still another hundred.
When we’re done, piled up thousands upon hundreds,
We’ll roll around in them, mix them up unreasonably,
Turn our backs to the evil eye and curse the curse-dealer,
And fall asleep there unafraid.


All mistakes mine, even more so.

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