Catullus, Poems

LCL 6: 2-3

Go To Section
Go To Section

Gai Valeri Catvlli Liber

Gai valeri catvlli veronensis liber


Cvi dono lepidum novum libellum arido modo pumice expolitum? Corneli, tibi: namque tu solebas meas esse aliquid putare nugas, 5iam tum cum ausus es unus Italorum omne aevum tribus explicare chartis doctis, Iuppiter, et laboriosis. quare habe tibi quicquid hoc libelli, qualecumque; quod, o1 patrona virgo, 10plus uno maneat perenne saeclo.


Passer, deliciae meae puellae, quicum ludere, quem in sinu tenere, cui primum digitum dare appetenti et acris solet incitare morsus 5cum desiderio meo nitenti carum nescio quid lubet iocari, 8credo ut, cum gravis acquiescet ardor, 7sit solaciolum sui doloris, tecum ludere sicut ipsa possem2 10et tristis animi levare curas!


The Poems Of Catullus

The Poems Of Gaius Valerius Catullus


To whom am I to present my pretty new book, freshly smoothed off with dry pumice-stone? To you, Cornelius: for you used to think that my trifles were worth something, long ago, when you took courage, you alone of Italians, to set forth the whole history of the world in three volumes, learned volumes, by Jupiter, and laboriously wrought. So take and keep for your own this little book, such as it is, and whatever it is worth; and may it, O Virgin my patroness, live and last for more than one century.


Sparrow, my lady’s pet, with whom she often plays whilst she holds you in her lap, or gives you her fingertip to peck and provokes you to bite sharply, whenever she, the bright-shining lady of my love, has a mind for some sweet pretty play, in hope, as I think, that when the sharper smart of love abates, she may find some small relief from her pain—ah, might I1 but play with you as she does, and lighten the gloomy cares of my heart!

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.catullus-poems.1913