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Title: The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus
Author: Catullus, Gaius Valerius, 84 BC-54 BC
Language: English
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Caius Valerius Catullus

Now first completely Englished into Verse
and Prose, the Metrical Part by Capt.
Sir Richard F. Burton, R.C.M.G.,
F.R.G.S., etc., etc., etc., and the
Prose Portion, Introduction,
and Notes Explanatory
and Illustrative by
Leonard C.




       *       *       *       *       *


By every right I ought to choose you to edit and bring out Sir Richard
Burton's translation of Catullus, because you collaborated with him on this
work by a correspondence of many months before he died. If I have hesitated
so long as to its production, it was because his notes, which are mostly
like pencilled cobwebs, strewn all over his Latin edition, were headed,
remark was, that in all his writings, his first copy, his first thought,
was always the best and the most powerful. Like many a painter who will go
on improving and touching up his picture till he has destroyed the
likeness, and the startling realistic nature of his subject, so would Sir
Richard go on weakening his first copy by improvements, and then appeal to
me to say which was the best. I was almost invariably obliged, in
conscience, to induce him to stick to the first thought, which had grasped
the whole meaning like a flash. These notes were made in a most curious
way. He used to bring his Latin Catullus down to _table d'hôte_ with him,
and he used to come and sit by me, but the moment he got a person on the
other side, who did not interest him, he used to whisper to me, "Talk, that
I may do my Catullus," and between the courses he wrote what I now give
you. The public school-boy is taught that the Atys was unique in subject
and metre, that it was the greatest and most remarkable poem in Latin
literature, famous for the fiery vehemence of the Greek dithyramb, that it
was the only specimen in Latin of the Galliambic measure, so called,
because sung by the Gallæ--and I suspect that the school-boy now learns
that there are half a dozen others, which you can doubtless name. To _my_
mind the gems of the whole translation are the Epithalamium or Epos of the
marriage of Vinia and Manlius, and the Parcae in that of Peleus and Thetis.
Sir Richard laid great stress on the following in his notes, headed
"Compare with Catullus, the sweet and tender little Villanelle, by Mr.
Edmund Gosse," for the Viol and Flute--the XIX cent. with the I^{st.}

  "Little mistress mine, good-bye!
    I have been your sparrow true;
  Dig my grave, for I must die.

  Waste no tear, and heave no sigh;
    Life should still be blithe for you,
  Little mistress mine, good-bye!

  In your garden let me lie
    Underneath the pointed yew,
  Dig my grave, for I must die.

  We have loved the quiet sky
    With its tender arch of blue;
  Little mistress mine, good-bye!

  That I still may feel you nigh,
    In your virgin bosom, too,
  Dig my grave, for I must die.

  Let our garden friends that fly
    Be the mourners, fit and few.
  Little mistress mine, good-bye!
    Dig my grave, for I must die."

Sir Richard seriously began his Catullus on Feb. 18th, 1890, at Hamman
R'irha, in North Africa. He had finished the first rough copy on March
31st, 1890, at Trieste. He made a second copy beginning May 23rd, 1890, at
Trieste, which was finished July 21st, 1890, at Zurich. He then writes a
margin. "Work incomplete, but as soon as I receive Mr. Smithers' prose, I
will fill in the words I now leave in stars, in order that we may not use
the same expressions, and I will then make a third, fair, and complete
copy." But, alas! then he was surprised by Death.

I am afraid that Sir Richard's readers may be disappointed to find that,
unlike Mr. Grant Allen, there is no excursus on the origin of Tree-worship,
and therefore that, perhaps, through ignorance, I have omitted something.
Sir Richard did write in the sixties and seventies on Tree-alphabets, the
Ogham Runes and El Mushajjar, the Arabic Tree-alphabet,--and had theories
and opinions as to its origin; but he did not, I know, connect them in any
way, however remote, with Catullus. I therefore venture to think you will
quite agree with me, that they have no business here, but should appear in
connection with my future work, "Labours and Wisdom of Sir Richard Burton."

All these three and a half years, I have hesitated what to do, but after
seeing other men's translations, his _incomplete_ work is, in my humble
estimation, too good to be consigned to oblivion, so that I will no longer
defer to send you a type-written copy, and to ask you to bring it through
the press, supplying the Latin text, and adding thereto your own prose,
which we never saw.

Yours truly,


_July 11th, 1894._

       *       *       *       *       *


A scholar lively, remembered to me, that _Catullus_ translated word for
word, is an anachronism, and that a literal English rendering in the
nineteenth century could be true to the poet's letter, but false to his
spirit. I was compelled to admit that something of this is true; but it is
not the whole truth. "Consulting modern taste" means really a mere
imitation, a re-cast of the ancient past in modern material. It is
presenting the toga'd citizen, rough, haughty, and careless of any
approbation not his own, in the costume of to-day,--boiled shirt,
dove-tailed coat, black-cloth clothes, white pocket-handkerchief, and
diamond ring. Moreover, of these transmogrifications we have already enough
and to spare. But we have not, as far as I know, any version of Catullus
which can transport the English reader from the teachings of our century to
that preceding the Christian Era. As discovery is mostly my mania, I have
hit upon a bastard-urging to indulge it, by a presenting to the public of
certain classics in the nude Roman poetry, like the Arab, and of the same


_Trieste, 1890._

    [The Foreword just given is an unfinished pencilling on the margin of
    Sir Richard's Latin text of Catullus. I reproduce below, a portion of
    his Foreword to a previous translation from the Latin on which we
    collaborated and which was issued in the summer of 1890.--L. C. S.]

A 'cute French publisher lately remarked to me that, as a rule, versions in
verse are as enjoyable to the writer as they are unenjoyed by the reader,
who vehemently doubts their truth and trustworthiness. These pages hold in
view one object sole and simple, namely, to prove that a translation,
metrical and literal, may be true and may be trustworthy.

As I told the public (Camoens: Life and Lusiads ii. 185-198), it has ever
been my ambition to reverse the late Mr. Matthew Arnold's peremptory
dictum:--"In a verse translation no original work is any longer
recognisable." And here I may be allowed to borrow from my Supplemental
Arabian Nights (Vol. vi., Appendix pp. 411-412, a book known to few and
never to be reprinted) my vision of the ideal translation which should not
be relegated to the Limbus of Intentions.

"My estimate of a translator's office has never been of the low level
generally assigned to it even in the days when Englishmen were in the habit
of translating every work, interesting or important, published out of
England, and of thus giving a continental and cosmopolitan flavour to their
literature. We cannot at this period expect much from a 'man of letters'
who must produce a monthly volume for a pittance of £20: of him we need not
speak. But the translator at his best, works, when reproducing the matter
and the manner of his original, upon two distinct lines. His prime and
primary object is to please his reader, edifying him and gratifying his
taste; the second is to produce an honest and faithful copy, adding naught
to the sense or abating aught of its especial _cachet_. He has, however, or
should have, another aim wherein is displayed the acme of hermeneutic art.
Every language can profitably lend something to and take somewhat from its
neighbours--an epithet, a metaphor, a naïf idiom, a turn of phrase. And the
translator of original mind who notes the innumerable shades of tone,
manner and complexion will not neglect the frequent opportunities of
enriching his mother-tongue with novel and alien ornaments which shall
justly be accounted barbarisms until formally naturalized and adopted. Nor
will any modern versionist relegate to a foot-note, as is the malpractice
of his banal brotherhood, the striking and often startling phases of the
foreign author's phraseology and dull the text with well-worn and
commonplace English equivalents, thus doing the clean reverse of what he
should do. It was this _beau idéal_ of a translator's success which made
Eustache Deschamps write of his contemporary and brother bard,

  _Grand Translateur, noble Geoffroy Chaucier._


  'The firste finder of our fair langage'

is styled 'a Socrates in philosophy, a Seneca in morals, an Angel in
conduct and a great Translator,'--a seeming anti-climax which has
scandalized not a little sundry inditers of 'Lives' and 'Memoirs.' The
title is no bathos: it is given simply because Chaucer _translated_ (using
the term in its best and highest sense) into his pure, simple and strong
English tongue with all its linguistic peculiarities, the thoughts and
fancies of his foreign models, the very letter and spirit of Petrarch and

For the humble literary status of translation in modern England and for the
short-comings of the average English translator, public taste or rather
caprice is mainly to be blamed. The "general reader," the man not in the
street but the man who makes up the educated mass, greatly relishes a
novelty in the way of "plot" or story or catastrophe while he has a natural
dislike to novelties of style and diction, demanding a certain dilution of
the unfamiliar with the familiar. Hence our translations in verse,
especially when rhymed, become for the most part deflorations or excerpts,
adaptations or periphrases more or less meritorious and the "translator"
was justly enough dubbed "traitor" by critics of the severer sort. And he
amply deserves the injurious name when ignorance of his original's language
perforce makes him pander to popular prescription.

But the good time which has long been coming seems now to have come. The
home reader will no longer put up with the careless caricatures of
classical chefs d'oeuvre which satisfied his old-fashioned predecessor. Our
youngers, in most points our seniors, now expect the translation not only
to interpret the sense of the original but also, when the text lends itself
to such treatment, to render it _verbatim et literatim_, nothing being
increased or diminished, curtailed or expanded. Moreover, in the choicer
passages, they so far require an echo of the original music that its melody
and harmony should be suggested to their mind. Welcomed also are the
mannerisms of the translator's model as far as these aid in preserving,
under the disguise of another dialect, the individuality of the foreigner
and his peculiar costume.

That this high ideal of translation is at length becoming popular now
appears in our literature. The "Villon Society," when advertizing the
novels of Matteo Bandello, Bishop of Agen, justly remarks of the
translator, Mr. John Payne, that his previous works have proved him to
possess special qualifications for "the delicate and difficult task of
transferring into his own language at once the savour and the substance,
the matter and the manner of works of the highest individuality, conceived
and executed in a foreign language."

In my version of hexameters and pentameters I have not shirked the metre
although it is strangely out of favour in English literature while we read
it and enjoy it in German. There is little valid reason for our aversion;
the rhythm has been made familiar to our ears by long courses of Greek and
Latin and the rarity of spondaic feet is assuredly to be supplied by art
and artifice.

And now it is time for farewelling my friends:--we may no longer (alas!)
address them, with the ingenuous Ancient in the imperative

Vos Plaudite.


_July, 1890._

       *       *       *       *       *


The present translation was jointly undertaken by the late Sir Richard
Burton and myself in 1890, some months before his sudden and lamented
death. We had previously put into English, and privately printed, a body of
verse from the Latin, and our aim was to follow it with literal and
unexpurgated renderings of Catullus, Juvenal, and Ausonius, from the same
tongue. Sir Richard laid great stress on the necessity of thoroughly
annotating each translation from an erotic (and especially a paederastic)
point of view, but subsequent circumstances caused me to abandon that

The Latin text of Catullus printed in this volume is that of Mueller (A.D.
1885), which Sir Richard Burton chose as the basis for our translation, and
to that text I have mainly adhered. On some few occasions, however, I have
slightly deviated from it, and, although I have consulted Owen and
Postgate, in such cases I have usually followed Robinson Ellis.

Bearing in mind my duty to the reader as well as to the author, I have
aimed at producing a readable translation, and yet as literal a version
(castrating no passages) as the dissimilarity in idiom of the two
languages, Latin and English, permit; and I claim for this volume that it
is the first literal and complete English translation as yet issued of
Catullus. The translations into English verse which I have consulted are
_The Adventures of Catullus, and the History of his Amours with Lesbia_
(done from the French, 1707), Nott, Lamb, Fleay, (privately printed, 1864),
Hart-Davies, Shaw, Cranstoun, Martin, Grant Allen, and Ellis. Of these,
none has been helpful to me save Professor Robinson Ellis's _Poems and
Fragments of Catullus translated in the metres of the original_,--a most
excellent and scholarly version, to which I owe great indebtedness for many
a felicitous expression. I have also used Dr. Nott freely in my
annotations. The only English prose translation of which I have any
knowledge is the one in Bohn's edition of Catullus, and this, in addition
to being bowdlerized, is in a host of passages more a paraphrase than a
literal translation.

I have not thought it needful in any case to point out my deviations from
Mueller's text, and I have cleared the volume of all the load of
mythological and historical notes which are usually appended to a
translation of a classic, contenting myself with referring the
non-classical reader to Bohn's edition of the poet.

Of the boldness of Sir Richard Burton's experiment of a metrical and linear
translation there can be no question; and on the whole he has succeeded in
proving his contention as to its possibility, though it must be confessed
that it is at times at the cost of obscurity, or of inversions of sentences
which certainly are compelled to lay claim to a poet's license. It must,
however, be borne in mind that in a letter to me just before his death, he
expressed his intention of going entirely through the work afresh, on
receiving my prose, adding that it needed "a power of polishing."

To me has fallen the task of editing Sir Richard's share in this volume
from a type-written copy literally swarming with copyist's errors. With
respect to the occasional lacunae which appear, I can merely state that
Lady Burton has repeatedly assured me that she has furnished me with a
faithful copy of her husband's translation, and that the words omitted
(which are here indicated by full points, not asterisks) were _not_ filled
in by him, because he was first awaiting my translation with the view of
our not using similar expressions. However, Lady Burton has without any
reason consistently refused me even a glance at his MS.; and in our
previous work from the Latin I did not find Sir Richard trouble himself in
the least concerning our using like expressions.

The frontispiece to this volume is reproduced from the statue which stands
over the Palazzo di Consiglio, the Council House at Verona, which is the
only representation of Catullus extant.


_July 11th, 1894._

       *       *       *       *       *




       *       *       *       *       *


The Carmina


Caius Valerius Catullus

       *       *       *       *       *




  Quoi dono lepidum novom libellum
  Arida modo pumice expolitum?
  Corneli, tibi: namque tu solebas
  Meas esse aliquid putare nugas,
  Iam tum cum ausus es unus Italorum                             5
  Omne aevum tribus explicare chartis
  Doctis, Iuppiter, et laboriosis.
  Quare habe tibi quidquid hoc libelli,
  Qualecumque, quod o patrona virgo,
  Plus uno maneat perenne saeclo.                               10



  Now smooth'd to polish due with pumice dry
  Whereto this lively booklet new give I?
  To thee (Cornelius!); for wast ever fain
  To deem my trifles somewhat boon contain;
  E'en when thou single 'mongst Italians found                   5
  Daredst all periods in three Scripts expound
  Learned (by Jupiter!) elaborately.
  Then take thee whatso in this booklet be,
  Such as it is, whereto O Patron Maid
  To live down Ages lend thou lasting aid!                      10

To whom inscribe my dainty tome--just out and with ashen pumice polished?
Cornelius, to thee! for thou wert wont to deem my triflings of account, and
at a time when thou alone of Italians didst dare unfold the ages' abstract
in three chronicles--learned, by Jupiter!--and most laboriously writ.
Wherefore take thou this booklet, such as 'tis, and O Virgin Patroness, may
it outlive generations more than one.


  Passer, deliciae meae puellae,
  Quicum ludere, quem in sinu tenere,
  Quoi primum digitum dare adpetenti
  Et acris solet incitare morsus,
  Cum desiderio meo nitenti                                      5
  Carum nescioquid libet iocari
  Vt solaciolum sui doloris,
  Credo ut iam gravis acquiescat ardor:
  Tecum ludere sicut ipsa possem
  Et tristis animi levare curas!                                10
      *    *    *    *
  Tam gratumst mihi quam ferunt puellae
  Pernici aureolum fuisse malum,
  Quod zonam soluit diu ligatam.



  Sparrow! my pet's delicious joy,
  Wherewith in bosom nurst to toy
  She loves, and gives her finger-tip
  For sharp-nib'd greeding neb to nip,
  Were she who my desire withstood                               5
  To seek some pet of merry mood,
  As crumb o' comfort for her grief,
  Methinks her burning lowe's relief:
  Could I, as plays she, play with thee,
  That mind might win from misery free!                         10
      *    *    *    *
  To me t'were grateful (as they say),
  Gold codling was to fleet-foot May,
  Whose long-bound zone it loosed for aye.

Sparrow, petling of my girl, with which she wantons, which she presses to
her bosom, and whose eager peckings is accustomed to incite by stretching
forth her forefinger, when my bright-hued beautiful one is pleased to jest
in manner light as (perchance) a solace for her heart ache, thus methinks
she allays love's pressing heats! Would that in manner like, I were able
with thee to sport and sad cares of mind to lighten!

      *    *    *    *

This were gracious to me as in story old to the maiden fleet of foot was
the apple golden-fashioned which unloosed her girdle long-time girt.


  Lugete, o Veneres Cupidinesque,
  Et quantumst hominum venustiorum.
  Passer mortuus est meae puellae,
  Passer, deliciae meae puellae,
  Quem plus illa oculis suis amabat:                             5
  Nam mellitus erat suamque norat
  Ipsa tam bene quam puella matrem
  Nec sese a gremio illius movebat,
  Sed circumsiliens modo huc modo illuc
  Ad solam dominam usque pipiabat.                              10
  Qui nunc it per iter tenebricosum
  Illuc, unde negant redire quemquam.
  At vobis male sit, malae tenebrae
  Orci, quae omnia bella devoratis:
  Tam bellum mihi passerem abstulistis.                         15
  O factum male! io miselle passer!
  Tua nunc opera meae puellae
  Flendo turgiduli rubent ocelli.



  Weep every Venus, and all Cupids wail,
  And men whose gentler spirits still prevail.
  Dead is the Sparrow of my girl, the joy,
  Sparrow, my sweeting's most delicious toy,
  Whom loved she dearer than her very eyes;                      5
  For he was honeyed-pet and anywise
  Knew her, as even she her mother knew;
  Ne'er from her bosom's harbourage he flew
  But 'round her hopping here, there, everywhere,
  Piped he to none but her his lady fair.                       10
  Now must he wander o'er the darkling way
  Thither, whence life-return the Fates denay.
  But ah! beshrew you, evil Shadows low'ring
  In Orcus ever loveliest things devouring:
  Who bore so pretty a Sparrow fro' her ta'en.                  15
  (Oh hapless birdie and Oh deed of bane!)
  Now by your wanton work my girl appears
  With turgid eyelids tinted rose by tears.

Mourn ye, O ye Loves and Cupids and all men of gracious mind. Dead is the
sparrow of my girl, sparrow, sweetling of my girl. Which more than her eyes
she loved; for sweet as honey was it and its mistress knew, as well as
damsel knoweth her own mother nor from her bosom did it rove, but hopping
round first one side then the other, to its mistress alone it evermore did
chirp. Now does it fare along that path of shadows whence naught may e'er
return. Ill be to ye, savage glooms of Orcus, which swallow up all things
of fairness: which have snatched away from me the comely sparrow. O deed of
bale! O sparrow sad of plight! Now on thy account my girl's sweet eyes,
swollen, do redden with tear-drops.


  Phaselus ille, quem videtis, hospites,
  Ait fuisse navium celerrimus,
  Neque ullius natantis impetum trabis
  Nequisse praeter ire, sive palmulis
  Opus foret volare sive linteo.                                 5
  Et hoc negat minacis Adriatici
  Negare litus insulasve Cycladas
  Rhodumque nobilem horridamque Thraciam
  Propontida trucemve Ponticum sinum,
  Vbi iste post phaselus antea fuit                             10
  Comata silva: nam Cytorio in iugo
  Loquente saepe sibilum edidit coma.
  Amastri Pontica et Cytore buxifer,
  Tibi haec fuisse et esse cognitissima
  Ait phaselus: ultima ex origine                               15
  Tuo stetisse dicit in cacumine,
  Tuo imbuisse palmulas in aequore,
  Et inde tot per inpotentia freta
  Erum tulisse, laeva sive dextera
  Vocaret aura, sive utrumque Iuppiter                          20
  Simul secundus incidisset in pedem;
  Neque ulla vota litoralibus deis
  Sibi esse facta, cum veniret a marei
  Novissime hunc ad usque limpidum lacum.
  Sed haec prius fuere: nunc recondita                          25
  Senet quiete seque dedicat tibi,
  Gemelle Castor et gemelle Castoris.



  Yonder Pinnace ye (my guests!) behold
  Saith she was erstwhile fleetest-fleet of crafts,
  Nor could by swiftness of aught plank that swims,
  Be she outstripped, whether paddle plied,
  Or fared she scudding under canvas-sail.                       5
  Eke she defieth threat'ning Adrian shore,
  Dare not denay her, insular Cyclades,
  And noble Rhodos and ferocious Thrace,
  Propontis too and blustering Pontic bight.
  Where she (my Pinnace now) in times before,                   10
  Was leafy woodling on Cytórean Chine
  For ever loquent lisping with her leaves.
  Pontic Amastris! Box-tree-clad Cytórus!
  Cognisant were ye, and you weet full well
  (So saith my Pinnace) how from earliest age                   15
  Upon your highmost-spiring peak she stood,
  How in your waters first her sculls were dipt,
  And thence thro' many and many an important strait
  She bore her owner whether left or right,
  Where breezes bade her fare, or Jupiter deigned               20
  At once propitious strike the sail full square;
  Nor to the sea-shore gods was aught of vow
  By her deemed needful, when from Ocean's bourne
  Extreme she voyaged for this limpid lake.
  Yet were such things whilome: now she retired                 25
  In quiet age devotes herself to thee
  (O twin-born Castor) twain with Castor's twin.

That pinnace which ye see, my friends, says that it was the speediest of
boats, nor any craft the surface skimming but it could gain the lead,
whether the course were gone o'er with plashing oars or bended sail. And
this the menacing Adriatic shores may not deny, nor may the Island
Cyclades, nor noble Rhodes and bristling Thrace, Propontis nor the gusty
Pontic gulf, where itself (afterwards a pinnace to become) erstwhile was a
foliaged clump; and oft on Cytorus' ridge hath this foliage announced
itself in vocal rustling. And to thee, Pontic Amastris, and to box-screened
Cytorus, the pinnace vows that this was alway and yet is of common
knowledge most notorious; states that from its primal being it stood upon
thy topmost peak, dipped its oars in thy waters, and bore its master thence
through surly seas of number frequent, whether the wind whistled 'gainst
the starboard quarter or the lee or whether Jove propitious fell on both
the sheets at once; nor any vows [from stress of storm] to shore-gods were
ever made by it when coming from the uttermost seas unto this glassy lake.
But these things were of time gone by: now laid away, it rusts in peace and
dedicates its age to thee, twin Castor, and to Castor's twin.


  Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus,
  Rumoresque senum severiorum
  Omnes unius aestimemus assis.
  Soles occidere et redire possunt:
  Nobis cum semel occidit brevis lux,                            5
  Nox est perpetua una dormienda.
  Da mi basia mille, deinde centum,
  Dein mille altera, dein secunda centum,
  Deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum.
  Dein, cum milia multa fecerimus,                              10
  Conturbabimus illa, ne sciamus,
  Aut nequis malus invidere possit,
  Cum tantum sciet esse basiorum.



  Love we (my Lesbia!) and live we our day,
  While all stern sayings crabbed sages say,
  At one doit's value let us price and prize!
  The Suns can westward sink again to rise
  But we, extinguished once our tiny light,                      5
  Perforce shall slumber through one lasting night!
  Kiss me a thousand times, then hundred more,
  Then thousand others, then a new five-score,
  Still other thousand other hundred store.
  Last when the sums to many thousands grow,                    10
  The tale let's trouble till no more we know,
  Nor envious wight despiteful shall misween us
  Knowing how many kisses have been kissed between us.

Let us live, my Lesbia, and let us love, and count all the mumblings of
sour age at a penny's fee. Suns set can rise again: we when once our brief
light has set must sleep through a perpetual night. Give me of kisses a
thousand, and then a hundred, then another thousand, then a second hundred,
then another thousand without resting, then a hundred. Then, when we have
made many thousands, we will confuse the count lest we know the numbering,
so that no wretch may be able to envy us through knowledge of our kisses'


  Flavi, delicias tuas Catullo,
  Nei sint inlepidae atque inelegantes,
  Velles dicere, nec tacere posses.
  Verum nescioquid febriculosi
  Scorti diligis: hoc pudet fateri.                              5
  Nam te non viduas iacere noctes
  Nequiquam tacitum cubile clamat
  Sertis ac Syrio fragrans olivo,
  Pulvinusque peraeque et hic et ille
  Attritus, tremulique quassa lecti                             10
  Argutatio inambulatioque.
  Nam nil stupra valet, nihil, tacere.
  Cur? non tam latera ecfututa pandas,
  Nei tu quid facias ineptiarum.
  Quare quidquid habes boni malique,                            15
  Dic nobis. volo te ac tuos amores
  Ad caelum lepido vocare versu.



  Thy Charmer (Flavius!) to Catullus' ear
  Were she not manner'd mean and worst in wit
  Perforce thou hadst praised nor couldst silence keep.
  But some enfevered jade, I wot-not-what,
  Some piece thou lovest, blushing this to own.                  5
  For, nowise 'customed widower nights to lie
  Thou 'rt ever summoned by no silent bed
  With flow'r-wreaths fragrant and with Syrian oil,
  By mattress, bolsters, here, there, everywhere
  Deep-dinted, and by quaking, shaking couch                    10
  All crepitation and mobility.
  Explain! none whoredoms (no!) shall close my lips.
  Why? such outfuttered flank thou ne'er wouldst show
  Had not some fulsome work by thee been wrought.
  Then what thou holdest, boon or bane be pleased               15
  Disclose! For thee and thy beloved fain would I
  Upraise to Heaven with my liveliest lay.

O Flavius, of thy sweetheart to Catullus thou would'st speak, nor could'st
thou keep silent, were she not both ill-mannered and ungraceful. In truth
thou affectest I know not what hot-blooded whore: this thou art ashamed to
own. For that thou dost not lie alone a-nights thy couch, fragrant with
garlands and Syrian unguent, in no way mute cries out, and eke the pillow
and bolsters indented here and there, and the creakings and joggings of the
quivering bed: unless thou canst silence these, nothing and again nothing
avails thee to hide thy whoredoms. And why? Thou wouldst not display such
drainèd flanks unless occupied in some tomfoolery. Wherefore, whatsoever
thou hast, be it good or ill, tell us! I wish to laud thee and thy loves to
the sky in joyous verse.


  Quaeris, quot mihi basiationes
  Tuae, Lesbia, sint satis superque.
  Quam magnus numerus Libyssae arenae
  Lasarpiciferis iacet Cyrenis,
  Oraclum Iovis inter aestuosi                                   5
  Et Batti veteris sacrum sepulcrum,
  Aut quam sidera multa, cum tacet nox,
  Furtivos hominum vident amores,
  Tam te basia multa basiare
  Vesano satis et super Catullost,                              10
  Quae nec pernumerare curiosi
  Possint nec mala fascinare lingua.



  Thou ask'st How many kissing bouts I bore
  From thee (my Lesbia!) or be enough or more?
  I say what mighty sum of Lybian-sands
  Confine Cyrene's Laserpitium-lands
  'Twixt Oracle of Jove the Swelterer                            5
  And olden Battus' holy Sepulchre,
  Or stars innumerate through night-stillness ken
  The stolen Love-delights of mortal men,
  For that to kiss thee with unending kisses
  For mad Catullus enough and more be this,                     10
  Kisses nor curious wight shall count their tale,
  Nor to bewitch us evil tongue avail.

Thou askest, how many kisses of thine, Lesbia, may be enough and to spare
for me. As the countless Libyan sands which strew the spicy strand of
Cyrene 'twixt the oracle of swelt'ring Jove and the sacred sepulchre of
ancient Battus, or as the thronging stars which in the hush of darkness
witness the furtive loves of mortals, to kiss thee with kisses of so great
a number is enough and to spare for passion-driven Catullus: so many that
prying eyes may not avail to number, nor ill tongues to ensorcel.


  Miser Catulle, desinas ineptire,
  Et quod vides perisse perditum ducas.
  Fulsere quondam candidi tibi soles,
  Cum ventitabas quo puella ducebat
  Amata nobis quantum amabitur nulla.                            5
  Ibi illa multa tum iocosa fiebant,
  Quae tu volebas nec puella nolebat.
  Fulsere vere candidi tibi soles.
  Nunc iam illa non vult: tu quoque, inpotens, noli
  Nec quae fugit sectare, nec miser vive,                       10
  Sed obstinata mente perfer, obdura.
  Vale, puella. iam Catullus obdurat,
  Nec te requiret nec rogabit invitam:
  At tu dolebis, cum rogaberis nulla.
  Scelesta, vae te! quae tibi manet vita!                       15
  Quis nunc te adibit? cui videberis bella?
  Quem nunc amabis? cuius esse diceris?
  Quem basiabis? cui labella mordebis?
  At tu, Catulle, destinatus obdura.



  Woe-full Catullus! cease to play the fool
  And what thou seest dead as dead regard!
  Whilòme the sheeniest suns for thee did shine
  When oft-a-tripping whither led the girl
  By us belovèd, as shall none be loved.                         5
  There all so merry doings then were done
  After thy liking, nor the girl was loath.
  Then certès sheeniest suns for thee did shine.
  Now she's unwilling: thou too (hapless!) will
  Her flight to follow, and sad life to live:                   10
  Endure with stubborn soul and still obdure.
  Damsel, adieu! Catullus obdurate grown
  Nor seeks thee, neither asks of thine unwill;
  Yet shalt thou sorrow when none woos thee more;
  Reprobate! Woe to thee! What life remains?                    15
  Who now shall love thee? Who'll think thee fair?
  Whom now shalt ever love? Whose wilt be called?
  To whom shalt kisses give? whose liplets nip?
  But thou (Catullus!) destiny-doomed obdure.

Unhappy Catullus, cease thy trifling and what thou seest lost know to be
lost. Once bright days used to shine on thee when thou wert wont to haste
whither thy girl didst lead thee, loved by us as never girl will e'er be
loved. There those many joys were joyed which thou didst wish, nor was the
girl unwilling. In truth bright days used once to shine on thee. Now she no
longer wishes: thou too, powerless to avail, must be unwilling, nor pursue
the retreating one, nor live unhappy, but with firm-set mind endure, steel
thyself. Farewell, girl, now Catullus steels himself, seeks thee not, nor
entreats thy acquiescence. But thou wilt pine, when thou hast no entreaty
proffered. Faithless, go thy way! what manner of life remaineth to thee?
who now will visit thee? who find thee beautiful? whom wilt thou love now?
whose girl wilt thou be called? whom wilt thou kiss? whose lips wilt thou
bite? But thou, Catullus, remain hardened as steel.


  Verani, omnibus e meis amicis
  Antistans mihi milibus trecentis,
  Venistine domum ad tuos Penates
  Fratresque unanimos anumque matrem?
  Venisti. o mihi nuntii beati!                                  5
  Visam te incolumem audiamque Hiberum
  Narrantem loca, facta, nationes,
  Vt mos est tuus, adplicansque collum
  Iocundum os oculosque suaviabor.
  O quantumst hominum beatiorum,                                10
  Quid me laetius est beatiusve?



  Veranius! over every friend of me
  Forestanding, owned I hundred thousands three,
  Home to Penates and to single-soul'd
  Brethren, returned art thou and mother old?
  Yes, thou art come. Oh, winsome news come well!                5
  Now shall I see thee, safely hear thee tell
  Of sites Iberian, deeds and nations 'spied,
  (As be thy wont) and neck-a-neck applied
  I'll greet with kisses thy glad lips and eyne.
  Oh! Of all mortal men beatified                               10
  Whose joy and gladness greater be than mine?

Veranius, of all my friends standing in the front, owned I three hundred
thousands of them, hast thou come home to thy Penates, thy longing brothers
and thine aged mother? Thou hast come back. O joyful news to me! I may see
thee safe and sound, and may hear thee speak of regions, deeds, and peoples
Iberian, as is thy manner; and reclining o'er thy neck shall kiss thy
jocund mouth and eyes. O all ye blissfullest of men, who more gladsome or
more blissful is than I am?


  Varus me meus ad suos amores
  Visum duxerat e foro otiosum,
  Scortillum, ut mihi tum repente visumst,
  Non sane inlepidum neque invenustum.
  Huc ut venimus, incidere nobis                                 5
  Sermones varii, in quibus, quid esset
  Iam Bithynia, quo modo se haberet,
  Ecquonam mihi profuisset aere.
  Respondi id quod erat, nihil neque ipsis
  Nec praetoribus esse nec cohorti,                             10
  Cur quisquam caput unctius referret,
  Praesertim quibus esset inrumator
  Praetor, non faciens pili cohortem.
  'At certe tamen, inquiunt, quod illic
  Natum dicitur esse, conparasti                                15
  Ad lecticam homines.' ego, ut puellae
  Vnum me facerem beatiorem,
  'Non' inquam 'mihi tam fuit maligne,
  Vt, provincia quod mala incidisset,
  Non possem octo homines parare rectos.'                       20
  At mi nullus erat nec hic neque illic,
  Fractum qui veteris pedem grabati
  In collo sibi collocare posset.
  Hic illa, ut decuit cinaediorem,
  'Quaeso' inquit 'mihi, mi Catulle, paulum                     25
  Istos. commode enim volo ad Sarapim
  Deferri.' 'minime' inquii puellae;
      *    *    *    *
  'Istud quod modo dixeram me habere,
  Fugit me ratio: meus sodalis
  Cinnast Gaius, is sibi paravit.                               30
  Verum, utrum illius an mei, quid ad me?
  Vtor tam bene quam mihi pararim.
  Sed tu insulsa male ac molesta vivis,
  Per quam non licet esse negligentem.'



  Led me my Varus to his flame,
  As I from Forum idling came.
  Forthright some whorelet judged I it
  Nor lacking looks nor wanting wit,
  When hied we thither, mid us three                             5
  Fell various talk, as how might be
  Bithynia now, and how it fared,
  And if some coin I made or spared.
  "There was no cause" (I soothly said)
  "The Prætors or the Cohort made                               10
  Thence to return with oilier head;
  The more when ruled by ----
  Prætor, as pile the Cohort rating."
  Quoth they, "But certès as 'twas there
  The custom rose, some men to bear                             15
  Litter thou boughtest?" I to her
  To seem but richer, wealthier,
  Cry, "Nay, with me 'twas not so ill
  That, given the Province suffered, still
  Eight stiff-backed loons I could not buy.'                    20
  (Withal none here nor there owned I
  Who broken leg of Couch outworn
  On nape of neck had ever borne!)
  Then she, as pathic piece became,
  "Prithee Catullus mine, those same                            25
  Lend me, Serapis-wards I'd hie."
      *    *    *    *
  "Easy, on no-wise, no," quoth I,
  "Whate'er was mine, I lately said
  Is some mistake, my camarade
  One Cinna--Gaius--bought the lot,                             30
  But his or mine, it matters what?
  I use it freely as though bought,
  Yet thou, pert troubler, most absurd,
  None suffer'st speak an idle word."

Varus drew me off to see his mistress as I was strolling from the Forum: a
little whore, as it seemed to me at the first glance, neither inelegant nor
lacking good looks. When we came in, we fell to discussing various
subjects, amongst which, how was Bithynia now, how things had gone there,
and whether I had made any money there. I replied, what was true, that
neither ourselves nor the praetors nor their suite had brought away
anything whereby to flaunt a better-scented poll, especially as our
praetor, the irrumating beast, cared not a single hair for his suite. "But
surely," she said, "you got some men to bear your litter, for they are said
to grow there?" I, to make myself appear to the girl as one of the
fortunate, "Nay," I say, "it did not go that badly with me, ill as the
province turned out, that I could not procure eight strapping knaves to
bear me." (But not a single one was mine either here or there who the
fractured foot of my old bedstead could hoist on his neck.) And she, like a
pathic girl, "I pray thee," says she, "lend me, my Catullus, those bearers
for a short time, for I wish to be borne to the shrine of Serapis." "Stay,"
quoth I to the girl, "when I said I had this, my tongue slipped; my friend,
Cinna Gaius, he provided himself with these. In truth, whether his or
mine--what do I trouble? I use them as though I had paid for them. But
thou, in ill manner with foolish teasing dost not allow me to be heedless."


  Furi et Aureli, comites Catulli,
  Sive in extremos penetrabit Indos,
  Litus ut longe resonante Eoa
            Tunditur unda,
  Sive in Hyrcanos Arabesve molles,                              5
  Seu Sacas sagittiferosve Parthos,
  Sive qua septemgeminus colorat
            Aequora Nilus,
  Sive trans altas gradietur Alpes,
  Caesaris visens monimenta magni,                              10
  Gallicum Rhenum, horribile aequor ulti-
            mosque Britannos,
  Omnia haec, quaecumque feret voluntas
  Caelitum, temptare simul parati,
  Pauca nuntiate meae puellae                                   15
            Non bona dicta.
  Cum suis vivat valeatque moechis,
  Quos simul conplexa tenet trecentos,
  Nullum amans vere, sed identidem omnium
            Ilia rumpens:                                       20
  Nec meum respectet, ut ante, amorem,
  Qui illius culpa cecidit velut prati
  Vltimi flos, praeter eunte postquam
            Tactus aratrost.



  Furius and Aurelius, Catullus' friends,
    Whether extremest Indian shore he brave,
  Strands where far-resounding billow rends
                          The shattered wave,
  Or 'mid Hyrcanians dwell he, Arabs soft and wild,              5
    Sacæ and Parthians of the arrow fain,
  Or where the Seven-mouth'd Nilus mud-defiled
                          Tinges the Main,
  Or climb he lofty Alpine Crest and note
    Works monumental, Cæsar's grandeur telling,                 10
  Rhine Gallic, horrid Ocean and remote
                          Britons low-dwelling;
  All these (whatever shall the will design
    Of Heaven-homed Gods) Oh ye prepared to tempt;
  Announce your briefest to that damsel mine                    15
                          In words unkempt:--
  Live she and love she wenchers several,
    Embrace three hundred wi' the like requitals,
  None truly loving and withal of all
                          Bursting the vitals:                  20
  My love regard she not, my love of yore,
    Which fell through fault of her, as falls the fair
  Last meadow-floret whenas passed it o'er
                          Touch of the share.

Furius and Aurelius, comrades of Catullus, whether he penetrate to furthest
Ind where the strand is lashed by the far-echoing Eoan surge, or whether
'midst the Hyrcans or soft Arabs, or whether the Sacians or quiver-bearing
Parthians, or where the seven-mouthed Nile encolours the sea, or whether he
traverse the lofty Alps, gazing at the monuments of mighty Caesar, the
gallic Rhine, the dismal and remotest Britons, all these, whatever the
Heavens' Will may bear, prepared at once to attempt,--bear ye to my girl
this brief message of no fair speech. May she live and flourish with her
swivers, of whom may she hold at once embraced the full three hundred,
loving not one in real truth, but bursting again and again the flanks of
all: nor may she look upon my love as before, she whose own guile slew it,
e'en as a flower on the greensward's verge, after the touch of the passing


  Marrucine Asini, manu sinistra
  Non belle uteris in ioco atque vino:
  Tollis lintea neglegentiorum.
  Hoc salsum esse putas? fugit te, inepte:
  Quamvis sordida res et invenustast.                            5
  Non credis mihi? crede Polioni
  Fratri, qui tua furta vel talento
  Mutari velit: est enim leporum
  Disertus puer ac facetiarum.
  Quare aut hendecasyllabos trecentos                           10
  Expecta aut mihi linteum remitte,
  Quod me non movet aestimatione,
  Verumst mnemosynum mei sodalis.
  Nam sudaria Saetaba ex Hibereis
  Miserunt mihi muneri Fabullus                                 15
  Et Veranius: haec amem necessest
  Vt Veraniolum meum et Fabullum.



  Marrúcinus Asinius! ill thou usest
  That hand sinistral in thy wit and wine
  Filching the napkins of more heedless hosts.
  Dost find this funny? Fool it passeth thee
  How 'tis a sordid deed, a sorry jest.                          5
  Dost misbelieve me? Trust to Pollio,
  Thy brother, ready to compound such thefts
  E'en at a talent's cost; for he's a youth
  In speech past master and in fair pleasantries.
  Of hendecasyllabics hundreds three                            10
  Therefore expect thou, or return forthright
  Linens whose loss affects me not for worth
  But as mementoes of a comrade mine.
  For napkins Sætaban from Ebro-land
  Fabúllus sent me a free-giftie given                          15
  Also Veránius: these perforce I love
  E'en as my Veraniólus and Fabúllus.

Marrucinius Asinius, thou dost use thy left hand in no fair fashion 'midst
the jests and wine: thou dost filch away the napkins of the heedless. Dost
thou think this a joke? it flies thee, stupid fool, how coarse a thing and
unbecoming 'tis! Dost not credit me? credit thy brother Pollio who would
willingly give a talent to divert thee from thy thefts: for he is a lad
skilled in pleasantries and facetiousness. Wherefore, either expect
hendecasyllables three hundred, or return me my napkin which I esteem, not
for its value but as a pledge of remembrance from my comrade. For Fabullus
and Veranius sent me as a gift handkerchiefs from Iberian Saetabis; these
must I prize e'en as I do Veraniolus and Fabullus.


  Cenabis bene, mi Fabulle, apud me
  Paucis, si tibi di favent, diebus,
  Si tecum attuleris bonam atque magnam
  Cenam, non sine candida puella
  Et vino et sale et omnibus cachinnis.                          5
  Haec si, inquam, attuleris, venuste noster,
  Cenabis bene: nam tui Catulli
  Plenus sacculus est aranearum.
  Sed contra accipies meros amores
  Seu quid suavius elegantiusvest:                              10
  Nam unguentum dabo, quod meae puellae
  Donarunt Veneres Cupidinesque,
  Quod tu cum olfacies, deos rogabis,
  Totum ut te faciant, Fabulle, nasum.



  Thou'lt sup right well with me, Fabúllus mine,
  In days few-numbered an the Gods design,
  An great and goodly meal thou bring wi' thee
  Nowise forgetting damsel bright o' blee,
  With wine, and salty wit and laughs all-gay.                   5
  An these my bonny man, thou bring, I say
  Thou'lt sup right well, for thy Catullus' purse
  Save web of spider nothing does imburse.
  But thou in countergift mere loves shalt take
  Or aught of sweeter taste or fairer make:                     10
  I'll give thee unguent lent my girl to scent
  By every Venus and all Cupids sent,
  Which, as thou savour, pray Gods interpose
  And thee, Fabúllus, make a Naught-but-nose.

Thou shalt feast well with me, my Fabullus, in a few days, if the gods
favour thee, provided thou dost bear hither with thee a good and great
feast, not forgetting a fair damsel and wine and wit and all kinds of
laughter. Provided, I say, thou dost bear hither these, our charming one,
thou wilt feast well: for thy Catullus' purse is brimful of cobwebs. But in
return thou may'st receive a perfect love, or whatever is sweeter or more
elegant: for I will give thee an unguent which the Loves and Cupids gave
unto my girl, which when thou dost smell it, thou wilt entreat the gods to
make thee, O Fabullus, one total Nose!


  Ni te plus oculis meis amarem,
  Iocundissime Calve, munere isto
  Odissem te odio Vatiniano:
  Nam quid feci ego quidve sum locutus,
  Cur me tot male perderes poetis?                               5
  Isti di mala multa dent clienti,
  Qui tantum tibi misit inpiorum.
  Quod si, ut suspicor, hoc novum ac repertum
  Munus dat tibi Sulla litterator,
  Non est mi male, sed bene ac beate,                           10
  Quod non dispereunt tui labores.
  Di magni, horribilem et sacrum libellum
  Quem tu scilicet ad tuum Catullum
  Misti, continuo ut die periret,
  Saturnalibus, optimo dierum!                                  15
  Non non hoc tibi, salse, sic abibit:
  Nam, si luxerit, ad librariorum
  Curram scrinia, Caesios, Aquinos,
  Suffenum, omnia colligam venena,
  Ac te his suppliciis remunerabor.                             20
  Vos hinc interea (valete) abite
  Illuc, unde malum pedem attulistis,
  Saecli incommoda, pessimi poetae.


  Siqui forte mearum ineptiarum
  Lectores eritis manusque vestras                              25
  Non horrebitis admovere nobis,
      *    *    *    *



  Did I not liefer love thee than my eyes
  (Winsomest Calvus!), for that gift of thine
  Certès I'd hate thee with Vatinian hate.
  Say me, how came I, or by word or deed,
  To cause thee plague me with so many a bard?                   5
  The Gods deal many an ill to such a client,
  Who sent of impious wights to thee such crowd.
  But if (as guess I) this choice boon new-found
  To thee from "Commentator" Sulla come,
  None ill I hold it--well and welcome 'tis,                    10
  For that thy labours ne'er to death be doom'd.
  Great Gods! What horrid booklet damnable
  Unto thine own Catullus thou (perdie!)
  Did send, that ever day by day die he
  In Saturnalia, first of festivals.                            15
  No! No! thus shall't not pass wi' thee, sweet wag,
  For I at dawning day will scour the booths
  Of bibliopoles, Aquinii, Cæsii and
  Suffenus, gather all their poison-trash
  And with such torments pay thee for thy pains.                20
  Now for the present hence, adieu! begone
  Thither, whence came ye, brought by luckless feet,
  Pests of the Century, ye pernicious Poets.


  An of my trifles peradventure chance
  You to be readers, and the hands of you                       25
  Without a shudder unto us be offer'd
      *    *    *    *

Did I not love thee more than mine eyes, O most jocund Calvus, for thy gift
I should abhor thee with Vatinian abhorrence. For what have I done or what
have I said that thou shouldst torment me so vilely with these poets? May
the gods give that client of thine ills enow, who sent thee so much trash!
Yet if, as I suspect, this new and care-picked gift, Sulla, the
litterateur, gives thee, it is not ill to me, but well and beatific, that
thy labours [in his cause] are not made light of. Great gods, what a
horrible and accurst book which, forsooth, thou hast sent to thy Catullus
that he might die of boredom the livelong day in the Saturnalia, choicest
of days! No, no, my joker, this shall not leave thee so: for at daydawn I
will haste to the booksellers' cases; the Caesii, the Aquini, Suffenus,
every poisonous rubbish will I collect that I may repay thee with these
tortures. Meantime (farewell ye) hence depart ye from here, whither an ill
foot brought ye, pests of the period, puniest of poetasters.

If by chance ye ever be readers of my triflings and ye will not quake to
lay your hands upon us,

      *    *    *    *


  Commendo tibi me ac meos amores,
  Aureli. veniam peto pudentem,
  Vt, si quicquam animo tuo cupisti,
  Quod castum expeteres et integellum,
  Conserves puerum mihi pudice,                                  5
  Non dico a populo: nihil veremur
  Istos, qui in platea modo huc modo illuc
  In re praetereunt sua occupati:
  Verum a te metuo tuoque pene
  Infesto pueris bonis malisque.                                10
  Quem tu qua lubet, ut iubet, moveto,
  Quantum vis, ubi erit foris, paratum:
  Hunc unum excipio, ut puto, pudenter.
  Quod si te mala mens furorque vecors
  In tantam inpulerit, sceleste, culpam,                        15
  Vt nostrum insidiis caput lacessas,
  A tum te miserum malique fati,
  Quem attractis pedibus patente porta
  Percurrent raphanique mugilesque.



  To thee I trust my loves and me,
  (Aurelius!) craving modesty.
  That (if in mind didst ever long
  To win aught chaste unknowing wrong)
  Then guard my boy in purest way.                               5
  From folk I say not: naught affray
  The crowds wont here and there to run
  Through street-squares, busied every one;
  But thee I dread nor less thy penis
  Fair or foul, younglings' foe I ween is!                      10
  Wag it as wish thou, at its will,
  When out of doors its hope fulfil;
  Him bar I, modestly, methinks.
  But should ill-mind or lust's high jinks
  Thee (Sinner!), drive to sin so dread,                        15
  That durst ensnare our dearling's head,
  Ah! woe's thee (wretch!) and evil fate,
  Mullet and radish shall pierce and grate,
  When feet-bound, haled through yawning gate.

I commend me to thee with my charmer, Aurelius. I come for modest boon
that,--didst thine heart long for aught, which thou desiredst chaste and
untouched,--thou 'lt preserve for me the chastity of my boy. I do not say
from the public: I fear those naught who hurry along the thoroughfares
hither thither occupied on their own business: truth my fear is from thee
and thy penis, pestilent eke to fair and to foul. Set it in motion where
thou dost please, whenever thou biddest, as much as thou wishest, wherever
thou findest the opportunity out of doors: this one object I except, to my
thought a reasonable boon. But if thy evil mind and senseless rutting push
thee forward, scoundrel, to so great a crime as to assail our head with thy
snares, O wretch, calamitous mishap shall happen thee, when with feet taut
bound, through the open entrance radishes and mullets shall pierce.


  Pedicabo ego vos et inrumabo,
  Aureli pathice et cinaede Furi,
  Qui me ex versiculis meis putastis,
  Quod sunt molliculi, parum pudicum.
  Nam castum esse decet pium poetam                              5
  Ipsum, versiculos nihil necessest,
  Qui tum denique habent salem ac leporem,
  Si sunt molliculi ac parum pudici
  Et quod pruriat incitare possunt,
  Non dico pueris, sed his pilosis,                             10
  Qui duros nequeunt movere lumbos.
  Vos, quom milia multa basiorum
  Legistis, male me marem putatis?
  Pedicabo ego vos et inrumabo.



  I'll ---- you twain and ----
  Pathic Aurélius! Fúrius, libertines!
  Who durst determine from my versicles
  Which seem o'er softy, that I'm scant of shame.
  For pious poet it behoves be chaste                            5
  Himself; no chastity his verses need;
  Nay, gain they finally more salt of wit
  When over softy and of scanty shame,
  Apt for exciting somewhat prurient,
  In boys, I say not, but in bearded men                        10
  Who fail of movements in their hardened loins.
  Ye who so many thousand kisses sung
  Have read, deny male masculant I be?
  You twain I'll ---- and ----

I will paedicate and irrumate you, Aurelius the bardache and Furius the
cinaede, who judge me from my verses rich in love-liesse, to be their equal
in modesty. For it behoves your devout poet to be chaste himself; his
verses--not of necessity. Which verses, in a word, may have a spice and
volupty, may have passion's cling and such like decency, so that they can
incite with ticklings, I do not say boys, but bearded ones whose stiffened
limbs amort lack pliancy in movement. You, because of many thousand kisses
you have read, think me womanish. I will paedicate and irrumate you!


  O Colonia, quae cupis ponte ludere longo,
  Et salire paratum habes, sed vereris inepta
  Crura ponticuli assulis stantis in redivivis,
  Ne supinus eat cavaque in palude recumbat;
  Sic tibi bonus ex tua pons libidine fiat,                      5
  In quo vel Salisubsili sacra suscipiantur:
  Munus hoc mihi maximi da, Colonia, risus.
  Quendam municipem meum de tuo volo ponte
  Ire praecipitem in lutum per caputque pedesque,
  Verum totius ut lacus putidaeque paludis                      10
  Lividissima maximeque est profunda vorago.
  Insulsissimus est homo, nec sapit pueri instar
  Bimuli tremula patris dormientis in ulna.
  Quoi cum sit viridissimo nupta flore puella
  (Et puella tenellulo delicatior haedo,                        15
  Adservanda nigerrimis diligentius uvis),
  Ludere hanc sinit ut lubet, nec pili facit uni,
  Nec se sublevat ex sua parte, sed velut alnus
  In fossa Liguri iacet suppernata securi,
  Tantundem omnia sentiens quam si nulla sit usquam,            20
  Talis iste meus stupor nil videt, nihil audit,
  Ipse qui sit, utrum sit an non sit, id quoque nescit.
  Nunc eum volo de tuo ponte mittere pronum,
  Si pote stolidum repente excitare veternum
  Et supinum animum in gravi derelinquere caeno,                25
  Ferream ut soleam tenaci in voragine mula.



  Colony! fain to display thy games on length of thy town-bridge!
  There, too, ready to dance, though fearing the shaking of crazy
  Logs of the Bridgelet propt on pier-piles newly renewèd,
  Lest supine all sink deep-merged in the marish's hollow,
  So may the bridge hold good when builded after thy pleasure    5
  Where Salisúbulus' rites with solemn function are sacred,
  As thou (Colony!) grant me boon of mightiest laughter.
  Certain a townsman mine I'd lief see thrown from thy gangway
  Hurlèd head over heels precipitous whelmed in the quagmire,
  Where the lake and the boglands are most rotten and stinking,  10
  Deepest and lividest lie, the swallow of hollow voracious.
  Witless surely the wight whose sense is less than of boy-babe
  Two-year-old and a-sleep on trembling forearm of father.
  He though wedded to girl in greenest bloom of her youth-tide,
  (Bride-wife daintier bred than ever was delicate kidlet,      15
  Worthier diligent watch than grape-bunch blackest and ripest)
  Suffers her sport as she please nor rates her even at hair's worth,
  Nowise 'stirring himself, but lying log-like as alder
  Felled and o'er floating the fosse of safe Ligurian woodsman,
  Feeling withal, as though such spouse he never had own'd;     20
  So this marvel o' mine sees naught, and nothing can hear he,
  What he himself, an he be or not be, wholly unknowing.
  Now would I willingly pitch such wight head first fro' thy bridge,
  Better a-sudden t'arouse that numskull's stolid old senses,
  Or in the sluggish mud his soul supine to deposit             25
  Even as she-mule casts iron shoe where quagmire is stiffest.

O Colonia, that longest to disport thyself on a long bridge and art
prepared for the dance, but that fearest the trembling legs of the
bridgelet builded on re-used shavings, lest supine it may lie stretched in
the hollow swamp; may a good bridge take its place designed to thy fancy,
on which e'en the Salian dances may be sustained: for the which grant to
me, Colonia, greatest of gifts glee-exciting. Such an one, townsman of
mine, I want from thy bridge to be pitched in the sludge head over heels,
right where the lake of all its stinking slime is dankest and most
superfluent--a deep-sunk abyss. The man is a gaping gaby! lacking the sense
of a two-years-old baby dozing on its father's cradling arm. Although to
him is wedded a girl flushed with springtide's bloom (and a girl more
dainty than a tender kid, meet to be watched with keener diligence than the
lush-black grape-bunch), he leaves her to sport at her list, cares not a
single hair, nor bestirs himself with marital office, but lies as an alder
felled by Ligurian hatchet in a ditch, as sentient of everything as though
no woman were at his side. Such is my booby! he sees not, he hears naught.
Who himself is, or whether he be or be not, he also knows not. Now I wish
to chuck him head first from thy bridge, so as to suddenly rouse (if
possible) this droning dullard and to leave behind in the sticky slush his
sluggish spirit, as a mule casts its iron shoe in the tenacious slough.


  Hunc lucum tibi dedico, consecroque, Priape,
  Qua domus tua Lampsaci est, quaque silva, Priape,
  Nam te praecipue in suis urbibus colit ora
  Hellespontia, caeteris ostreosior oris.



  This grove to thee devote I give, Priapus!
  Who home be Lampsacus and holt, Priapus!
  For thee in cities worship most the shores
  Of Hellespont the richest oystery strand.

This grove I dedicate and consecrate to thee, Priapus, who hast thy home at
Lampsacus, and eke thy woodlands, Priapus; for thee especially in its
cities worships the coast of the Hellespont, richer in oysters than all
other shores.


  Hunc ego, juvenes, locum, villulamque palustrem,
  Tectam vimine junceo, caricisque maniplis,
  Quercus arida, rustica conformata securi,
  Nunc tuor: magis, et magis ut beata quotannis.
  Hujus nam Domini colunt me, Deumque salutant,                  5
  Pauperis tugurii pater, filiusque coloni:
  Alter, assidua colens diligentia, ut herba
  Dumosa, asperaque a meo sit remota sacello:
  Alter, parva ferens manu semper munera larga.
  Florido mihi ponitur picta vere corolla                       10
  Primitu', et tenera virens spica mollis arista:
  Luteae violae mihi, luteumque papaver,
  Pallentesque cucurbitae, et suaveolentia mala,
  Vva pampinea rubens educata sub umbra.
  Sanguine hanc etiam mihi (sed tacebitis) aram                 15
  Barbatus linit hirculus, cornipesque capella:
  Pro queis omnia honoribus haec necesse Priapo
  Praestare, et domini hortulum, vineamque tueri.
  Quare hinc, o pueri, malas abstinete rapinas.
  Vicinus prope dives est, negligensque Priapus.                20
  Inde sumite: semita haec deinde vos feret ipsa.



  This place, O youths, I protect, nor less this turf-builded cottage,
  Roofed with its osier-twigs and thatched with its bundles of sedges;
  I from the dried oak hewn and fashioned with rustical hatchet,
  Guarding them year by year while more are they evermore thriving.
  For here be owners twain who greet and worship my Godship,     5
  He of the poor hut lord and his son, the pair of them peasants:
  This with assiduous toil aye works the thicketty herbage
  And the coarse water-grass to clear afar from my chapel:
  That with his open hand ever brings me offerings humble.
  Hung up in honour mine are flowery firstlings of spring-tide,  10
  Wreaths with their ears still soft the tender stalklets a-crowning;
  Violets pale are mine by side of the poppy-head pallid;
  With the dull yellow gourd and apples sweetest of savour;
  Lastly the blushing grape disposed in shade of the vine-tree.
  Anon mine altar (this same) with blood (but you will be silent!)  15
  Bearded kid and anon some horny-hoofed nanny shall sprinkle.
  Wherefore Priapus is bound to requite such honours by service,
  Doing his duty to guard both vineyard and garth of his lordling.
  Here then, O lads, refrain from ill-mannered picking and stealing:
  Rich be the neighbour-hind and negligent eke his Priapus:     20
  Take what be his: this path hence leadeth straight to his ownings.

This place, youths, and the marshland cot thatched with rushes, osier-twigs
and bundles of sedge, I, carved from a dry oak by a rustic axe, now
protect, so that they thrive more and more every year. For its owners, the
father of the poor hut and his son,--both husbandmen,--revere me and salute
me as a god; the one labouring with assiduous diligence that the harsh
weeds and brambles may be kept away from my sanctuary, the other often
bringing me small offerings with open hand. On me is placed a many-tinted
wreath of early spring flowers and the soft green blade and ear of the
tender corn. Saffron-coloured violets, the orange-hued poppy, wan gourds,
sweet-scented apples, and the purpling grape trained in the shade of the
vine, [are offered] to me. Sometimes, (but keep silent as to this) even the
bearded he-goat, and the horny-footed nanny sprinkle my altar with blood;
for which honours Priapus is bound in return to do everything [which lies
in his duty], and to keep strict guard over the little garden and vineyard
of his master. Wherefore, abstain, O lads, from your evil pilfering here.
Our next neighbour is rich and his Priapus is negligent. Take from him;
this path then will lead you to his grounds.


  Ego haec ego arte fabricata rustica,
  Ego arida, o viator, ecce populus
  Agellulum hunc, sinistra, tute quem vides,
  Herique villulam, hortulumque pauperis
  Tuor, malasque furis arceo manus.                              5
  Mihi corolla picta vero ponitur:
  Mihi rubens arista sole fervido:
  Mihi virente dulcis uva pampino:
  Mihique glauca duro oliva frigore.
  Meis capella delicata pascuis                                 10
  In urbem adulta lacte portat ubera:
  Meisque pinguis agnus ex ovilibus
  Gravem domum remittit aere dexteram:
  Tenerque, matre mugiente, vaccula
  Deum profundit ante templa sanguinem.                         15
  Proin', viator, hunc Deum vereberis,
  Manumque sorsum habebis hoc tibi expedit.
  Parata namque crux, sine arte mentula.
  Velim pol, inquis: at pol ecce, villicus
  Venit: valente cui revulsa brachio                            20
  Fit ista mentula apta clava dexterae.



  I thuswise fashionèd by rustic art
  And from dried poplar-trunk (O traveller!) hewn,
  This fieldlet, leftwards as thy glances fall,
  And my lord's cottage with his pauper garth
  Protect, repelling thieves' rapacious hands.                   5
  In spring with vari-coloured wreaths I'm crown'd,
  In fervid summer with the glowing grain,
  Then with green vine-shoot and the luscious bunch,
  And glaucous olive-tree in bitter cold.
  The dainty she-goat from my pasture bears                     10
  Her milk-distended udders to the town:
  Out of my sheep-cotes ta'en the fatted lamb
  Sends home with silver right-hand heavily charged;
  And, while its mother lows, the tender calf
  Before the temples of the Gods must bleed.                    15
  Hence of such Godhead, (traveller!) stand in awe,
  Best it befits thee off to keep thy hands.
  Thy cross is ready, shaped as artless yard;
  "I'm willing, 'faith" (thou say'st) but 'faith here comes
  The boor, and plucking forth with bended arm                  20
  Makes of this tool a club for doughty hand.

I, O traveller, shaped with rustic art from a dry poplar, guard this little
field which thou seest on the left, and the cottage and small garden of its
indigent owner, and keep off the greedy hands of the robber. In spring a
many-tinted wreath is placed upon me; in summer's heat ruddy grain; [in
autumn] a luscious grape cluster with vine-shoots, and in the bitter cold
the pale-green olive. The tender she-goat bears from my pasture to the town
milk-distended udders; the well-fattened lamb from my sheepfolds sends back
[its owner] with a heavy handful of money; and the tender calf, 'midst its
mother's lowings, sheds its blood before the temple of the Gods. Hence,
wayfarer, thou shalt be in awe of this God, and it will be profitable to
thee to keep thy hands off. For a punishment is prepared--a roughly-shaped
mentule. "Truly, I am willing," thou sayest; then, truly, behold the farmer
comes, and that same mentule plucked from my groin will become an apt
cudgel in his strong right hand.


  Aureli, pater essuritionum,
  Non harum modo, sed quot aut fuerunt
  Aut sunt aut aliis erunt in annis,
  Pedicare cupis meos amores.
  Nec clam: nam simul es, iocaris una,                           5
  Haeres ad latus omnia experiris.
  Frustra: nam insidias mihi instruentem
  Tangem te prior inrumatione.
  Atque id si faceres satur, tacerem:
  Nunc ipsum id doleo, quod essurire,                           10
  A me me, puer et sitire discet.
  Quare desine, dum licet pudico,
  Ne finem facias, sed inrumatus.



  Aurelius, father of the famisht crew,
  Not sole of starvelings now, but wretches who
  Were, are, or shall be in the years to come,
  My love, my dearling, fain art thou to strum.
  Nor privately; for nigh thou com'st and jestest                5
  And to his side close-sticking all things questest.
  'Tis vain: while lay'st thou snares for me the worst,
  By ---- I will teach thee first.
  An food-full thus do thou, my peace I'd keep:
  But what (ah me! ah me!) compels me weep                      10
  Are thirst and famine to my dearling fated.
  Cease thou so doing while as modest rated,
  Lest to thy will thou win--but ----

Aurelius, father of the famished, in ages past in time now present and in
future years yet to come, thou art longing to paedicate my love. Nor is't
done secretly: for thou art with him jesting, closely sticking at his side,
trying every means. In vain: for, instructed in thy artifice, I'll strike
home beforehand by irrumating thee. Now if thou didst this to work off the
results of full-living I would say naught: but what irks me is that my boy
must learn to starve and thirst with thee. Wherefore, desist, whilst thou
mayst with modesty, lest thou reach the end,--but by being irrumated.


  Suffenus iste, Vare, quem probe nosti,
  Homost venustus et dicax et urbanus,
  Idemque longe plurimos facit versus.
  Puto esse ego illi milia aut decem aut plura
  Perscripta, nec sic ut fit in palimpseston                     5
  Relata: chartae regiae, novei libri,
  Novei umbilici, lora rubra, membrana
  Derecta plumbo, et pumice omnia aequata.
  Haec cum legas tu, bellus ille et urbanus
  Suffenus unus caprimulgus aut fossor                          10
  Rursus videtur; tantum abhorret ac mutat.
  Hoc quid putemus esse? qui modo scurra
  Aut siquid hac re scitius videbatur,
  Idem infacetost infacetior rure,
  Simul poemata attigit, neque idem umquam                      15
  Aequest beatus ac poema cum scribit:
  Tam gaudet in se tamque se ipse miratur.
  Nimirum idem omnes fallimur, nequest quisquam,
  Quem non in aliqua re videre Suffenum
  Possis. suus cuique attributus est error:                     20
  Sed non videmus, manticae quod in tergost.



  Varus, yon wight Suffenus known to thee
  Fairly for wit, free talk, urbanity,
  The same who scribbles verse in amplest store--
  Methinks he fathers thousands ten or more
  Indited not as wont on palimpsest,                             5
  But paper-royal, brand-new boards, and best
  Fresh bosses, crimson ribbands, sheets with lead
  Ruled, and with pumice-powder all well polished.
  These as thou readest, seem that fine, urbane
  Suffenus, goat-herd mere, or ditcher-swain                    10
  Once more, such horrid change is there, so vile.
  What must we wot thereof? a Droll erst while,
  Or (if aught) cleverer, he with converse meets,
  He now in dullness, dullest villain beats
  Forthright on handling verse, nor is the wight                15
  Ever so happy as when verse he write:
  So self admires he with so full delight.
  In sooth, we all thus err, nor man there be
  But in some matter a Suffenus see
  Thou canst: his lache allotted none shall lack                20
  Yet spy we nothing of our back-borne pack.

That Suffenus, Varus, whom thou know'st right well, is a man fair spoken,
witty and urbane, and one who makes of verses lengthy store. I think he has
writ at full length ten thousand or more, nor are they set down, as of
custom, on palimpsest: regal paper, new boards, unused bosses, red ribands,
lead-ruled parchment, and all most evenly pumiced. But when thou readest
these, that refined and urbane Suffenus is seen on the contrary to be a
mere goatherd or ditcher-lout, so great and shocking is the change. What
can we think of this? he who just now was seen a professed droll, or e'en
shrewder than such in gay speech, this same becomes more boorish than a
country boor immediately he touches poesy, nor is the dolt e'er as
self-content as when he writes in verse,--so greatly is he pleased with
himself, so much does he himself admire. Natheless, we all thus go astray,
nor is there any man in whom thou canst not see a Suffenus in some one
point. Each of us has his assigned delusion: but we see not what's in the
wallet on our back.


  Furei, quoi neque servos est neque arca
  Nec cimex neque araneus neque ignis,
  Verumst et pater et noverca, quorum
  Dentes vel silicem comesse possunt,
  Est pulchre tibi cum tuo parente                               5
  Et cum coniuge lignea parentis.
  Nec mirum: bene nam valetis omnes,
  Pulchre concoquitis, nihil timetis,
  Non incendia, non graves ruinas,
  Non furta inpia, non dolos veneni,                            10
  Non casus alios periculorum.
  Atqui corpora sicciora cornu
  Aut siquid magis aridumst habetis
  Sole et frigore et essuritione.
  Quare non tibi sit bene ac beate?                             15
  A te sudor abest, abest saliva,
  Mucusque et mala pituita nasi.
  Hanc ad munditiem adde mundiorem,
  Quod culus tibi purior salillost,
  Nec toto decies cacas in anno,                                20
  Atque id durius est faba et lapillis;
  Quod tu si manibus teras fricesque,
  Non umquam digitum inquinare possis.
  Haec tu commoda tam beata, Furi,
  Noli spernere nec putare parvi,                               25
  Et sestertia quae soles precari
  Centum desine: nam sat es beatus.



  Furius! Nor chest, nor slaves can claim,
  Bug, Spider, nor e'en hearth aflame,
  Yet thine a sire and step-dame who
  Wi' tooth can ever flint-food chew!
  So thou, and pleasant happy life                               5
  Lead wi' thy parent's wooden wife.
  Nor this be marvel: hale are all,
  Well ye digest; no fears appal
  For household-arsons, heavy ruin,
  Plunderings impious, poison-brewin'                           10
  Or other parlous case forlorn.
  Your frames are hard and dried like horn,
  Or if more arid aught ye know,
  By suns and frosts and hunger-throe.
  Then why not happy as thou'rt hale?                           15
  Sweat's strange to thee, spit fails, and fail
  Phlegm and foul snivel from the nose.
  Add cleanness that aye cleanlier shows
  A bum than salt-pot cleanlier,
  Nor ten times cack'st in total year,                          20
  And harder 'tis than pebble or bean
  Which rubbed in hand or crumbled, e'en
  On finger ne'er shall make unclean.
  Such blessings (Furius!) such a prize
  Never belittle nor despise;                                   25
  Hundred sesterces seek no more
  With wonted prayer--enow's thy store!

O Furius, who neither slaves, nor coffer, nor bug, nor spider, nor fire
hast, but hast both father and step-dame whose teeth can munch up even
flints,--thou livest finely with thy sire, and with thy sire's wood-carved
spouse. Nor need's amaze! for in good health are ye all, grandly ye digest,
naught fear ye, nor arson nor house-fall, thefts impious nor poison's
furtive cunning, nor aught of perilous happenings whatsoe'er. And ye have
bodies drier than horn (or than aught more arid still, if aught there be),
parched by sun, frost, and famine. Wherefore shouldst thou not be happy
with such weal. Sweat is a stranger to thee, absent also are saliva,
phlegm, and evil nose-snivel. Add to this cleanliness the thing that's
still more cleanly, that thy backside is purer than a salt-cellar, nor
cackst thou ten times in the total year, and then 'tis harder than beans
and pebbles; nay, 'tis such that if thou dost rub and crumble it in thy
hands, not a finger canst thou ever dirty. These goodly gifts and favours,
O Furius, spurn not nor think lightly of; and cease thy 'customed begging
for an hundred sesterces: for thou'rt blest enough!


  O qui flosculus es Iuventiorum,
  Non horum modo, sed quot aut fuerunt
  Aut posthac aliis erunt in annis,
  Mallem divitias Midae dedisses
  Isti, quoi neque servus est neque arca,                        5
  Quam sic te sineres ab illo amari.
  'Qui? non est homo bellus?' inquies. est:
  Sed bello huic neque servos est neque arca.
  Hoc tu quam lubet abice elevaque:
  Nec servom tamen ille habet neque arcam.                      10



  O of Juventian youths the flowret fair
  Not of these only, but of all that were
  Or shall be, coming in the coming years,
  Better waste Midas' wealth (to me appears)
  On him that owns nor slave nor money-chest                     5
  Than thou shouldst suffer by his love possest.
  "What! is he vile or not fair?" "Yes!" I attest,
  "Yet owns this man so comely neither slaves nor chest
  My words disdain thou or accept at best
  Yet neither slave he owns nor money-chest."                   10

O thou who art the floweret of Juventian race, not only of these now
living, but of those that were of yore and eke of those that will be in the
coming years, rather would I that thou hadst given the wealth e'en of Midas
to that fellow who owns neither slave nor store, than that thou shouldst
suffer thyself to be loved by such an one. "What! isn't he a fine-looking
man?" thou askest. He is; but this fine-looking man has neither slaves nor
store. Contemn and slight this as it please thee: nevertheless, he has
neither slave nor store.


  Cinaede Thalle, mollior cuniculi capillo
  Vel anseris medullula vel imula oricilla
  Vel pene languido senis situque araneoso,
  Idemque Thalle turbida rapacior procella,
  Cum diva munerarios ostendit oscitantes,                       5
  Remitte pallium mihi meum, quod involasti,
  Sudariumque Saetabum catagraphosque Thynos,
  Inepte, quae palam soles habere tamquam avita.
  Quae nunc tuis ab unguibus reglutina et remitte,
  Ne laneum latusculum manusque mollicellas                     10
  Inusta turpiter tibi flagella conscribillent,
  Et insolenter aestues velut minuta magno
  Deprensa navis in mari vesaniente vento.



  Thou bardache Thallus! more than Coney's robe
  Soft, or goose-marrow or ear's lowmost lobe,
  Or Age's languid yard and cobweb'd part,
  Same Thallus greedier than the gale thou art,
  When the Kite-goddess shows thee Gulls agape,                  5
  Return my muffler thou hast dared to rape,
  Saetaban napkins, tablets of Thynos, all
  Which (Fool!) ancestral heirlooms thou didst call.
  These now unglue-ing from thy claws restore,
  Lest thy soft hands, and floss-like flanklets score           10
  The burning scourges, basely signed and lined,
  And thou unwonted toss like wee barque tyned
  'Mid vasty Ocean vexed by madding wind!

O Thallus the catamite, softer than rabbit's fur, or goose's marrow, or
lowmost ear-lobe, limper than the drooping penis of an oldster, in its
cobwebbed must, greedier than the driving storm, such time as the
Kite-Goddess shews us the gaping Gulls, give me back my mantle which thou
hast pilfered, and the Saetaban napkin and Thynian tablets which, idiot,
thou dost openly parade as though they were heirlooms. These now unglue
from thy nails and return, lest the stinging scourge shall shamefully score
thy downy flanks and delicate hands, and thou unwonted heave and toss like
a tiny boat surprised on the vasty sea by a raging storm.


  Furi, villula nostra non ad Austri
  Flatus oppositast neque ad Favoni
  Nec saevi Boreae aut Apeliotae,
  Verum ad milia quindecim et ducentos.
  O ventum horribilem atque pestilentem!                         5



  Furius! our Villa never Austral force
  Broke, neither set thereon Favonius' course,
  Nor savage Boreas, nor Epeliot's strain,
  But fifteen thousand crowns and hundreds twain
  Wreckt it,--Oh ruinous by-wind, breezy bane!                   5

Furius, our villa not 'gainst the southern breeze is pitted nor the western
wind nor cruel Boreas nor sunny east, but sesterces fifteen thousand two
hundred oppose it. O horrible and baleful draught.


  Minister vetuli puer Falerni
  Inger mi calices amariores,
  Vt lex Postumiae iubet magistrae,
  Ebriosa acina ebriosioris.
  At vos quo lubet hinc abite, lymphae                           5
  Vini pernicies, et ad severos
  Migrate: hic merus est Thyonianus.



  Thou youngling drawer of Falernian old
  Crown me the goblets with a bitterer wine
  As was Postumia's law that rules the feast
  Than ebriate grape-stone more inebriate.
  But ye fare whither please ye (water-nymphs!)                  5
  To wine pernicious, and to sober folk
  Migrate ye: mere Thyonian juice be here!

Boy cupbearer of old Falernian, pour me fiercer cups as bids the laws of
Postumia, mistress of the feast, drunker than a drunken grape. But ye,
hence, as far as ye please, crystal waters, bane of wine, hie ye to the
sober: here the Thyonian juice is pure.


  Pisonis comites, cohors inanis
  Aptis sarcinulis et expeditis,
  Verani optime tuque mi Fabulle,
  Quid rerum geritis? satisne cum isto
  Vappa frigoraque et famem tulistis?                            5
  Ecquidnam in tabulis patet lucelli
  Expensum, ut mihi, qui meum secutus
  Praetorem refero datum lucello
  'O Memmi, bene me ac diu supinum
  Tota ista trabe lentus inrumasti.'                            10
  Sed, quantum video, pari fuistis
  Casu: nam nihilo minore verpa
  Farti estis. pete nobiles amicos.
  At vobis mala multa di deaeque
  Dent, opprobria Romulei Remique.                              15



  Followers of Piso, empty band
  With your light budgets packt to hand,
  Veránius best! Fabúllus mine!
  What do ye? Bore ye enough, in fine
  Of frost and famine with yon sot?                              5
  What loss or gain have haply got
  Your tablets? so, whenas I ranged
  With Praetor, gains for loss were changed.
  "O Memmius! thou did'st long and late
  ---- me supine slow and ----"                                 10
  But (truly see I) in such case
  Diddled you were by wight as base
  Sans mercy. Noble friends go claim!
  Now god and goddess give you grame
  Disgrace of Romulus! Remus' shame!                            15

Piso's Company, a starveling band, with lightweight knapsacks, scantly
packed, most dear Veranius thou, and my Fabullus eke, how fortunes it with
you? have ye borne frost and famine enow with that sot? Which in your
tablets appear--the profits or expenses? So with me, who when I followed a
praetor, inscribed more gifts than gains. "O Memmius, well and slowly didst
thou irrumate me, supine, day by day, with the whole of that beam." But,
from what I see, in like case ye have been; for ye have been crammed with
no smaller a poker. Courting friends of high rank! But may the gods and
goddesses heap ill upon ye, reproach to Romulus and Remus.


  Quis hoc potest videre, quis potest pati,
  Nisi inpudicus et vorax et aleo,
  Mamurram habere quod Comata Gallia
  Habebat ante et ultima Britannia?
  Cinaede Romule, haec videbis et feres?                         5
  _Es inpudicus et vorax et aleo._                              5b
  Et ille nunc superbus et superfluens
  Perambulabit omnium cubilia
  Vt albulus columbus aut Adoneus?
  Cinaede Romule, haec videbis et feres?
  Es inpudicus et vorax et aleo.                                10
  Eone nomine, imperator unice,
  Fuisti in ultima occidentis insula,
  Vt ista vostra defututa Mentula
  Ducenties comesset aut trecenties?
  Quid est alid sinistra liberalitas?                           15
  Parum expatravit an parum eluatus est?
  Paterna prima lancinata sunt bona:
  Secunda praeda Pontica: inde tertia
  Hibera, quam scit amnis aurifer Tagus.
  Timentne Galliae hunc, timent Britanniae?                     20
  Quid hunc malum fovetis? aut quid hic potest,
  Nisi uncta devorare patrimonia?
  Eone nomine urbis, o potissimei
  Socer generque, perdidistis omnia?



  Who e'er could witness this (who could endure
  Except the lewdling, dicer, greedy-gut)
  That should Mamurra get what hairy Gaul
  And all that farthest Britons held whilòme?
  (Thou bardache Romulus!) this wilt see and bear?               5
  Then art a lewdling, dicer, greedy-gut!                       5b
  He now superb with pride superfluous
  Shall go perambulate the bedrooms all
  Like white-robed dovelet or Adonis-love.
  Romulus thou bardache! this wilt see and bear?
  Then art a lewdling, dicer, greedy-gut!                       10
  Is't for such like name, sole Emperor thou!
  Thou soughtest extreme Occidental Isle?
  That this your ---- Mentula
  Millions and Milliards might at will absorb?
  What is't but Liberality misplaced?                           15
  What trifles wasted he, small heirlooms spent?
  First his paternal goods were clean dispersed;
  Second went Pontus' spoils and for the third,--
  Ebro-land,--weets it well gold-rolling Tage.
  Fear him the Gallias? Him the Britons' fear?                  20
  Why cherish this ill-wight? what 'vails he do?
  Save fat paternal heritage devour?
  Lost ye for such a name, O puissant pair
  (Father and Son-in-law), our all-in-all?

Who can witness this, who can brook it, save a whore-monger, a guzzler, and
a gamester, that Mamurra should possess what long-haired Gaul and remotest
Britain erstwhile had. Thou catamite Romulus, this thou'lt see and bear?
Then thou'rt a whore-monger, a guzzler, and a gamester. And shall he now,
superb and o'er replete, saunter o'er each one's bed, as though he were a
snow-plumed dove or an Adonis? Thou catamite Romulus, this thou'lt see and
hear? Then thou'rt a whore-monger, a guzzler, and a gamester. For such a
name, O general unique, hast thou been to the furthest island of the west,
that this thy futtered-out Mentula should squander hundreds of hundreds?
What is't but ill-placed munificence? What trifles has he squandered, or
what petty store washed away? First his patrimony was mangled; secondly the
Pontic spoils; then thirdly the Iberian, which the golden Tagus-stream
knoweth. Do not the Gauls fear this man, do not the Britons quake? Why dost
thou foster this scoundrel? What use is he save to devour well-fattened
inheritances? Wast for such a name, O most puissant father-in-law and
son-in-law, that ye have spoiled the entire world.


  Alfene inmemor atque unanimis false sodalibus
  Iam te nil miseret, dure, tui dulcis amiculi?

  Iam me prodere, iam non dubitas fallere, perfide?
  Nec facta inpia fallacum hominum caelicolis placent:

  Quod tu neglegis, ac me miserum deseris in malis.              5
  Eheu quid faciant, dic, homines, cuive habeant fidem?

  Certe tute iubebas animam tradere, inique, me
  Inducens in amorem, quasi tuta omnia mi forent.

  Idem nunc retrahis te ac tua dicta omnia factaque
  Ventos inrita ferre ac nebulas aerias sinis.                  10

  Si tu oblitus es, at di meminerunt, meminit Fides,
  Quae te ut paeniteat postmodo facti faciet tui.



  Alfénus! short of memory, false to comrades dearest-dear,
  Now hast no pity (hardened Soul!) for friend and loving fere?

  Now to betray me, now to guile thou (traitor!) ne'er dost pause?
  Yet impious feats of fraudful men ne'er force the Gods' applause:

  When heed'st thou not deserting me (Sad me!) in sorest scathe,  5
  Ah say whate'er shall humans do? in whom shall man show faith?

  For sure thou bad'st me safely yield my spirit (wretch!) to thee,
  Lulling my love as though my life were all security.

  The same now dost withdraw thyself and every word and deed
  Thou suffer'st winds and airy clouds to sweep from out thy head.  10

  But an forget thou, mindful be the Gods, and Faith in mind
  Bears thee, and soon shall gar thee rue the deeds by thee design'd.

Alfenus, unmemoried and unfaithful to thy comrades true, is there now no
pity in thee, O hard of heart, for thine sweet loving friend? Dost thou
betray me now, and scruplest not to play me false now, dishonourable one?
Yet the irreverent deeds of traitorous men please not the dwellers in
heaven: this thou takest no heed of, leaving me wretched amongst my ills.
Alas, what may men do, I pray you, in whom put trust? In truth thou didst
bid me entrust my soul to thee, sans love returned, lulling me to love, as
though all [love-returns] were safely mine. Yet now thou dost withdraw
thyself, and all thy purposeless words and deeds thou sufferest to be
wafted away into winds and nebulous clouds. If thou hast forgotten, yet the
gods remember, and in time to come will make thee rue thy doing.


  Paeninsularum, Sirmio, insularumque
  Ocelle, quascumque in liquentibus stagnis
  Marique vasto fert uterque Neptunus,
  Quam te libenter quamque laetus inviso,
  Vix mi ipse credens Thyniam atque Bithynos                     5
  Liquisse campos et videre te in tuto.
  O quid solutis est beatius curis,
  Cum mens onus reponit, ac peregrino
  Labore fessi venimus larem ad nostrum
  Desideratoque acquiescimus lecto.                             10
  Hoc est, quod unumst pro laboribus tantis.
  Salve, o venusta Sirmio, atque ero gaude:
  Gaudete vosque, o Libuae lacus undae:
  Ridete, quidquid est domi cachinnorum.



  Sirmio! of Islands and Peninsulas
  Eyelet, and whatsoe'er in limpid meres
  And vasty Ocean either Neptune owns,
  Thy scenes how willing-glad once more I see,
  At pain believing Thynia and the Fields                        5
  Bithynian left, I'm safe to sight thy Site.
  Oh what more blessèd be than cares resolved,
  When mind casts burthen and by peregrine
  Work over wearied, lief we hie us home
  To lie reposing in the longed-for bed!                        10
  This be the single meed for toils so triste.
  Hail, O fair Sirmio, in thy lord rejoice:
  And ye, O waves of Lybian Lake be glad,
  And laugh what laughter pealeth in my home.

Sirmio! Eyebabe of Islands and Peninsulas, which Neptune holds whether in
limpid lakes or on mighty mains, how gladly and how gladsomely do I re-see
thee, scarce crediting that I've left behind Thynia and the Bithynian
champaign, and that safe and sound I gaze on thee. O what's more blissful
than cares released, when the mind casts down its burden, and when wearied
with travel-toils we reach our hearth, and sink on the craved-for couch.
This and only this repays our labours numerous. Hail, lovely Sirmio, and
gladly greet thy lord; and joy ye, wavelets of the Lybian lake; laugh ye
the laughters echoing from my home.


  Amabo, mea dulcis Ipsithilla,
  Meae deliciae, mei lepores,
  Iube ad te veniam meridiatum.
  Et si iusseris illud, adiuvato,
  Nequis liminis obseret tabellam,                               5
  Neu tibi lubeat foras abire,
  Sed domi maneas paresque nobis
  Novem continuas fututiones.
  Verum, siquid ages, statim iubeto:
  Nam pransus iaceo et satur supinus                            10
  Pertundo tunicamque palliumque.



  I'll love my Ipsithilla sweetest,
  My desires and my wit the meetest,
  So bid me join thy nap o' noon!
  Then (after bidding) add the boon
  Undraw thy threshold-bolt none dare,                           5
  Lest thou be led afar to fare;
  Nay bide at home, for us prepare
  Nine-fold continuous love-delights.
  But aught do thou to hurry things,
  For dinner-full I lie aback,                                  10
  And gown and tunic through I crack.

I'll love thee, my sweet Ipsithilla, my delight, my pleasure: an thou bid
me come to thee at noontide. And an thou thus biddest, I adjure thee that
none makes fast the outer door [against me], nor be thou minded to gad
forth, but do thou stay at home and prepare for us nine continuous
conjoinings. In truth if thou art minded, give instant summons: for
breakfast o'er, I lie supine and ripe, thrusting through both tunic and


  O furum optime balneariorum
  Vibenni pater, et cinaede fili,
  (Nam dextra pater inquinatiore,
  Culo filius est voraciore)
  Cur non exilium malasque in oras                               5
  Itis, quandoquidem patris rapinae
  Notae sunt populo, et natis pilosas,
  Fili, non potes asse venditare.



  Oh, best of robbers who in Baths delight,
  Vibennius, sire and son, the Ingle hight,
  (For that the father's hand be fouler one
  And with his anus greedier is the Son)
  Why not to banishment and evil hours                           5
  Haste ye, when all the parent's plundering powers
  Are public knowledge, nor canst gain a Cent
  Son! by the vending of thy pilèd vent.

O, chiefest of pilferers, baths frequenting, Vibennius the father and his
pathic son (for with the right hand is the sire more in guilt, and with his
backside is the son the greedier), why go ye not to exile and ill hours,
seeing that the father's plunderings are known to all folk, and that, son,
thou can'st not sell thine hairy buttocks for a doit?


  Dianae sumus in fide
  Puellae et pueri integri:
  _Dianam pueri integri_
    Puellaeque canamus.

  O Latonia, maximi                                              5
  Magna progenies Iovis,
  Quam mater prope Deliam
    Deposivit olivam,

  Montium domina ut fores
  Silvarumque virentium                                         10
  Saltuumque reconditorum
    Amniumque sonantum.

  Tu Lucina dolentibus
  Iuno dicta puerperis,
  Tu potens Trivia et notho's                                   15
    Dicta lumine Luna.

  Tu cursu, dea, menstruo
  Metiens iter annuom
  Rustica agricolae bonis
    Tecta frugibus exples.                                      20

  Sis quocumque tibi placet
  Sancta nomine, Romulique,
  Antique ut solita's, bona
    Sospites ope gentem.



  Diana's faith inbred we bear
  Youths whole of heart and maidens fair,
  Let boys no blemishes impair,
              And girls of Dian sing!

  O great Latonian progeny,                                      5
  Of greatest Jove descendancy,
  Whom mother bare 'neath olive-tree,
              Deep in the Delian dell;

  That of the mountains reign thou Queen
  And forest ranges ever green,                                 10
  And coppices by man unseen,
              And rivers resonant.

  Thou art Lucína, Juno hight
  By mothers lien in painful plight,
  Thou puissant Trivia and the Light                            15
              Bastard, yclept the Lune.

  Thou goddess with thy monthly stage,
  The yearly march doth mete and guage
  And rustic peasant's messuage,
              Dost brim with best o' crops,                     20

  Be hailed by whatso name of grace,
  Please thee and olden Romulus' race,
  Thy wonted favour deign embrace,
              And save with choicest aid.

We, maids and upright youths, are in Diana's care: upright youths and
maids, we sing Diana.

O Latonia, progeny great of greatest Jove, whom thy mother bare 'neath
Delian olive,

That thou mightst be Queen of lofty mounts, of foliaged groves, of remote
glens, and of winding streams.

Thou art called Juno Lucina by the mother in her travail-pangs, thou art
named potent Trivia and Luna with an ill-got light.

Thou, Goddess, with monthly march measuring the yearly course, dost glut
with produce the rustic roofs of the farmer.

Be thou hallowed by whatsoe'er name thou dost prefer; and cherish, with
thine good aid, as thou art wont, the ancient race of Romulus.


  Poetae tenero, meo sodali
  Velim Caecilio, papyre, dicas,
  Veronam veniat, Novi relinquens
  Comi moenia Lariumque litus:
  Nam quasdam volo cogitationes                                  5
  Amici accipiat sui meique.
  Quare, si sapiet, viam vorabit,
  Quamvis candida milies puella
  Euntem revocet manusque collo
  Ambas iniciens roget morari,                                  10
  Quae nunc, si mihi vera nuntiantur,
  Illum deperit inpotente amore:
  Nam quo tempore legit incohatam
  Dindymi dominam, ex eo misellae
  Ignes interiorem edunt medullam.                              15
  Ignosco tibi, Sapphica puella
  Musa doctior: est enim venuste
  Magna Caecilio incohata mater.



  Now to that tender bard, my Comrade fair,
  (Cecilius) say I, "Paper go, declare,
  Verona must we make and bid to New
  Comum's town-walls and Larian Shores adieu;"
  For I determined certain fancies he                            5
  Accept from mutual friend to him and me.
  Wherefore he will, if wise, devour the way,
  Though the blonde damsel thousand times essay
  Recall his going and with arms a-neck
  A-winding would e'er seek his course to check;                10
  A girl who (if the truth be truly told)
  Dies of a hopeless passion uncontroul'd;
  For since the doings of the Díndymus-dame,
  By himself storied, she hath read, a flame
  Wasting her inmost marrow-core hath burned.                   15
  I pardon thee, than Sapphic Muse more learn'd,
  Damsel: for truly sung in sweetest lays
  Was by Cecilius Magna Mater's praise.

To that sweet poet, my comrade, Caecilius, I bid thee, paper, say: that he
hie him here to Verona, quitting New Comum's city-walls and Larius' shore;
for I wish him to give ear to certain counsels from a friend of his and
mine. Wherefore, an he be wise, he'll devour the way, although a milk-white
maid doth thousand times retard his going, and flinging both arms around
his neck doth supplicate delay--a damsel who now, if truth be brought me,
is undone with immoderate love of him. For, since what time she first read
of the Dindymus Queen, flames devour the innermost marrow of the wretched
one. I grant thee pardon, damsel, more learned than the Sapphic muse: for
charmingly has the Mighty Mother been sung by Caecilius.


  Annales Volusi, cacata charta,
  Votum solvite pro mea puella:
  Nam sanctae Veneri Cupidinique
  Vovit, si sibi restitutus essem
  Desissemque truces vibrare iambos,                             5
  Electissima pessimi poetae
  Scripta tardipedi deo daturam
  Infelicibus ustulanda lignis.
  Et haec pessima se puella vidit
  Iocose lepide vovere divis.                                   10
  Nunc, o caeruleo creata ponto,
  Quae sanctum Idalium Vriosque portus
  Quaeque Ancona Cnidumque harundinosam
  Colis quaeque Amathunta quaeque Golgos
  Quaeque Durrachium Adriae tabernam,                           15
  Acceptum face redditumque votum,
  Si non inlepidum neque invenustumst.
  At vos interea venite in ignem,
  Pleni ruris et inficetiarum
  Annales Volusi, cacata charta.                                20



  Volusius' Annals, paper scum-bewrayed!
  Fulfil that promise erst my damsel made;
  Who vowed to Holy Venus and her son,
  Cupid, should I return to her anon
  And cease to brandish iamb-lines accurst,                      5
  The writ selected erst of bards the worst
  She to the limping Godhead would devote
  With slowly-burning wood of illest note.
  This was the vilest which my girl could find
  With vow facetious to the Gods assigned.                      10
  Now, O Creation of the azure sea,
  Holy Idalium, Urian havenry
  Haunting, Ancona, Cnidos' reedy site,
  Amathus, Golgos, and the tavern hight
  Durrachium--thine Adrian abode--                              15
  The vow accepting, recognize the vowed
  As not unworthy and unhandsome naught.
  But do ye meanwhile to the fire be brought,
  That teem with boorish jest of sorry blade,
  Volusius' Annals, paper scum-bewrayed.                        20

Volusius' Annals, merdous paper, fulfil ye a vow for my girl: for she vowed
to sacred Venus and to Cupid that if I were re-united to her and I desisted
hurling savage iambics, she would give the most elect writings of the
pettiest poet to the tardy-footed God to be burned with ill-omened wood.
And _this_ the saucy minx chose, jocosely and drolly to vow to the gods.
Now, O Creation of the cerulean main, who art in sacred Idalium, and in
Urian haven, and who doth foster Ancona and reedy Cnidos, Amathus and
Golgos, and Dyrrhachium, Adriatic tavern, accept and acknowledge this vow
if it lack not grace nor charm. But meantime, hence with ye to the flames,
crammed with boorish speech and vapid, Annals of Volusius, merdous paper.


  Salax taberna vosque contubernales,
  A pileatis nona fratribus pila,
  Solis putatis esse mentulas vobis,
  Solis licere, quidquid est puellarum,
  Confutuere et putare ceteros hircos?                           5
  An, continenter quod sedetis insulsi
  Centum an ducenti, non putatis ausurum
  Me una ducentos inrumare sessores?
  Atqui putate: namque totius vobis
  Frontem tabernae scorpionibus scribam.                        10
  Puella nam mi, quae meo sinu fugit,
  Amata tantum quantum amabitur nulla,
  Pro qua mihi sunt magna bella pugnata,
  Consedit istic. hanc boni beatique
  Omnes amatis, et quidem, quod indignumst,                     15
  Omnes pusilli et semitarii moechi;
  Tu praeter omnes une de capillatis,
  Cuniculosae Celtiberiae fili
  Egnati, opaca quem bonum facit barba
  Et dens Hibera defricatus urina.                              20



  Salacious Tavern and ye taverner-host,
  From Pileate Brothers the ninth pile-post,
  D'ye claim, you only of the mentule boast,
  D'ye claim alone what damsels be the best
  To swive: as he-goats holding all the rest?                    5
  Is't when like boobies sit ye incontinent here,
  One or two hundred, deem ye that I fear
  Two hundred ---- at one brunt?
  Ay, think so, natheless all your tavern-front
  With many a scorpion I will over-write.                       10
  For that my damsel, fro' my breast took flight,
  By me so lovèd, as shall loved be none,
  Wherefor so mighty wars were waged and won,
  Does sit in public here. Ye fain, rich wights,
  All woo her: thither too (the chief of slights!)              15
  All pitiful knaves and by-street wenchers fare,
  And thou, (than any worse), with hanging hair,
  In coney-breeding Celtiberia bred,
  Egnatius! bonnified by beard full-fed,
  And teeth with Spanish urine polishèd.                        20

Tavern of lust and you its tippling crowd, (at ninth pile sign-post from
the Cap-donned Brothers) think ye that ye alone have mentules, that 'tis
allowed to you alone to touzle whatever may be feminine, and to deem all
other men mere goats? But, because ye sit, a row of fools numbering one
hundred or haply two hundred, do ye think I dare not irrumate your entire
two hundred--loungers!--at once! Think it! but I'll scrawl all over the
front of your tavern with scorpion-words. For my girl, who has fled from my
embrace (she whom I loved as ne'er a maid shall be beloved--for whom I
fought fierce fights) has seated herself here. All ye, both honest men and
rich, and also, (O cursed shame) all ye paltry back-slum fornicators, are
making hot love to her; and thou above all, one of the hairy-visaged sons
of coney-caverned Celtiberia, Egnatius, whose quality is stamped by
dense-grown beard, and teeth with Spanish urine scrubbed.


  Malest, Cornifici, tuo Catullo,
  Malest, me hercule, et est laboriose,
  Et magis magis in dies et horas.
  Quem tu, quod minimum facillimumquest,
  Qua solatus es adlocutione?                                    5
  Irascor tibi. sic meos amores?
  Paulum quid lubet adlocutionis,
  Maestius lacrimis Simonideis.



  Cornificius! 'Tis ill with thy Catullus,
  'Tis ill (by Hercules) distressfully:
  Iller and iller every day and hour.
  Whose soul (as smallest boon and easiest)
  With what of comfort hast thou deign'd console?                5
  Wi' thee I'm angered! Dost so prize my love?
  Yet some consoling utterance had been well
  Though sadder 'twere than Simonídean tears.

'Tis ill, Cornificius, with thy Catullus, 'tis ill, by Hercules, and most
untoward; and greater, greater ill, each day and hour! And thou, what
solace givest thou, e'en the tiniest, the lightest, by thy words? I'm wroth
with thee. Is my love but worth this? Yet one little message would cheer
me, though more full of sadness than Simonidean tears.


  Egnatius, quod candidos habet dentes,
  Renidet usque quaque. sei ad rei ventumst
  Subsellium, cum orator excitat fletum,
  Renidet ille. sei ad pii rogum fili
  Lugetur, orba cum flet unicum mater,                           5
  Renidet ille. quidquid est, ubicumquest,
  Quodcumque agit, renidet. hunc habet morbum,
  Neque elegantem, ut arbitror, neque urbanum.
  Quare monendum test mihi, bone Egnati.
  Si urbanus esses aut Sabinus aut Tiburs                       10
  Aut fartus Vmber aut obesus Etruscus
  Aut Lanuinus ater atque dentatus
  Aut Transpadanus, ut meos quoque attingam,
  Aut quilubet, qui puriter lavit dentes,
  Tamen renidere usque quaque te nollem:                        15
  Nam risu inepto res ineptior nullast.
  Nunc Celtiber es: Celtiberia in terra,
  Quod quisque minxit, hoc sibi solet mane
  Dentem atque russam defricare gingivam,
  Vt quo iste vester expolitior dens est,                       20
  Hoc te amplius bibisse praedicet loti.



  Egnatius for that owns he teeth snow-white,
  Grins ever, everywhere. When placed a wight
  In dock, when pleader would draw tears, the while
  He grins. When pious son at funeral pile
  Mourns, or lone mother sobs for sole lost son,                 5
  He grins. Whate'er, whene'er, howe'er is done,
  Of deed he grins. Such be his malady,
  Nor kind, nor courteous--so beseemeth me--
  Then take thou good Egnatius, rede of mine!
  Wert thou corrupt Sabine or a Tiburtine,                      10
  Stuffed Umbrian or Tuscan overgrown
  Swarthy Lanuvian with his teeth-rows shown,
  Transpádan also, that mine own I touch,
  Or any washing teeth to shine o'er much,
  Yet thy incessant grin I would not see,                       15
  For naught than laughter silly sillier be.
  Thou Celtiber art, in Celtiberia born,
  Where man who's urined therewith loves a-morn
  His teeth and ruddy gums to scour and score;
  So the more polisht are your teeth, the more                  20
  Argue they sipping stale in ampler store.

Egnatius, who has milk-white teeth, grins for ever and aye. An he be in
court, when counsel excites tears, he grins. An he be at funeral pyre where
one mourns a son devoted, where a bereft mother's tears stream for her only
one, he grins. Whatever it may be, wherever he is, whate'er may happen, he
grins. Such ill habit has he--neither in good taste, well assumed, nor
refined. Wherefore do thou take note from me, my good Egnatius. Be thou
refined Sabine or Tiburtine, paunch-full Umbrian or obese Tuscan, Lanuvian
dusky and large-tusked, or Transpadine (to touch upon mine own folk also),
or whom thou wilt of those who cleanly wash their teeth, still I'd wish
thee not to grin for ever and aye; for than senseless giggling nothing is
more senseless. Now thou'rt a Celtiberian! and in the Celtiberian land each
wight who has urined is wont each morn to scrub with it his teeth and pinky
gums, so that the higher the polish on thy teeth, the greater fund it notes
that thou hast drunk of urine.


  Quaenam te mala mens, miselle Ravide,
  Agit praecipitem in meos iambos?
  Quis deus tibi non bene advocatus
  Vecordem parat excitare rixam?
  An ut pervenias in ora vulgi?                                  5
  Quid vis? qua lubet esse notus optas?
  Eris, quandoquidem meos amores
  Cum longa voluisti amare poena.



  What thought of folly Rávidus (poor churl!)
  Upon my iambs thus would headlong hurl?
  What good or cunning counsellor would fain
  Urge thee to struggle in such strife insane?
  Is't that the vulgar mouth thy name by rote?                   5
  What will'st thou? Wishest on any wise such note?
  Then _shalt_ be noted since my love so lief
  For love thou sued'st to thy lasting grief.

What mind ill set, O sorry Ravidus, doth thrust thee rashly on to my
iambics? What god, none advocate of good for thee, doth stir thee to a
senseless contest? That thou may'st be in the people's mouth? What would'st
thou? Dost wish to be famed, no matter in what way? So thou shalt be, since
thou hast aspired to our loved one's love, but by our long-drawn vengeance.


  Ametina puella defututa
  Tota milia me decem poposcit,
  Ista turpiculo puella naso,
  Decoctoris amica Formiani.
  Propinqui, quibus est puella curae,                            5
  Amicos medicosque convocate:
  Non est sana puella. nec rogate,
  Qualis sit: solet esse imaginosa.



  That Ametina, worn-out whore,
  Me for a myriad oft would bore,
  That strumpet of th' ignoble nose,
  To leman, rakehell Formian chose.
  An ye would guard her (kinsmen folk)                           5
  Your friends and leaches d'ye convoke:
  The girl's not sound-sens'd; ask ye naught
  Of her complaint: she's love-distraught.

Ametina, out-drainèd maiden, worries me for a whole ten thousand, that
damsel with an outspread nose, _chère amie_ of Formianus the wildling. Ye
near of kin in whose care the maiden is, summon ye both friends and
medicals: for the girl's not sane. Nor ask ye, in what way: she is subject
to delusions.


  Adeste, hendecasyllabi, quot estis
  Omnes undique, quotquot estis omnes.
  Iocum me putat esse moecha turpis
  Et negat mihi nostra reddituram
  Pugillaria, si pati potestis.                                  5
  Persequamur eam, et reflagitemus.
  Quae sit, quaeritis. illa, quam videtis
  Turpe incedere, mimice ac moleste
  Ridentem catuli ore Gallicani.
  Circumsistite eam, et reflagitate,                            10
  'Moecha putida, redde codicillos,
  Redde, putida moecha, codicillos.'
  Non assis facis? o lutum, lupanar,
  Aut si perditius potest quid esse.
  Sed non est tamen hoc satis putandum.                         15
  Quod si non aliud potest, ruborem
  Ferreo canis exprimamus ore.
  Conclamate iterum altiore voce
  'Moecha putida, redde codicillos,
  Redde, putida moecha, codicillos.'                            20
  Sed nil proficimus, nihil movetur.
  Mutandast ratio modusque vobis,
  Siquid proficere amplius potestis,
  'Pudica et proba, redde codicillos.'



  Come, Hendecasyllabics, many as may
  All hither, every one that of you be!
  That fulsome harlot makes me laughing-stock
  And she refuses at our prayer restore
  Our stolen Note-books, an such slights ye bear.                5
  Let us pursue her clamouring our demands.
  "Who's she?" ye question: yonder one ye sight
  Mincingly pacing mime-like, perfect pest,
  With jaws wide grinning like a Gallic pup.
  Stand all round her dunning with demands,                     10
  "Return (O rotten whore!) our noting books.
  Our noting books (O rotten whore!) return!"
  No doit thou car'st? O Mire! O Stuff o' stews!
  Or if aught fouler filthier dirt there be.
  Yet must we never think these words suffice.                  15
  But if naught else avail, at least a blush
  Forth of that bitch-like brazen brow we'll squeeze.
  Cry all together in a higher key
  "Restore (O rotten whore!) our noting books,
  Our noting books (O rotten whore!) restore!"                  20
  Still naught avails us, nothing is she moved.
  Now must our measures and our modes be changed
  An we would anywise our cause advance.
  "Restore (chaste, honest Maid!) our noting books!"

Hither, all ye hendecasyllables, as many as may be, from every part, all of
ye, as many soever as there be! A shameless prostitute deems me fair sport,
and denies return to me of our writing tablets, if ye are able to endure
this. Let's after her, and claim them back. "Who may she be," ye ask? That
one, whom ye see strutting awkwardly, stagily, and stiffly, and with a
laugh on her mouth like a Gallic whelp. Throng round her, and claim them
back. "O putrid punk, hand back our writing tablets; hand back, O putrid
punk, our writing tablets." Not a jot dost heed? O Muck, Brothel-Spawn, or
e'en loathsomer if it is possible so to be! Yet think not yet that this is
enough. For if naught else we can extort a blush on thy brazened bitch's
face. We'll yell again in heightened tones, "O putrid punk, hand back our
writing tablets, hand back, O putrid punk, our writing tablets." But naught
we profit, naught she budges. Changed must your measure and your manner be,
an you would further progress make--"O Virgin pure and spotless, hand back
our writing tablets."


  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.                                     5
  Ten provincia narrat esse bellam?
  Tecum Lesbia nostra conparatur?
  O saeclum insapiens et infacetum!



  Hail, girl who neither nose of minim size
  Owns, nor a pretty foot, nor jetty eyes,
  Nor thin long fingers, nor mouth dry of slaver
  Nor yet too graceful tongue of pleasant flavour,
  Leman to Formian that rake-a-hell.                             5
  What, can the Province boast of thee as belle?
  Thee with my Lesbia durst it make compare?
  O Age insipid, of all humour bare!

Hail, O maiden with nose not of the tiniest, with foot lacking shape and
eyes lacking darkness, with fingers scant of length, and mouth not dry and
tongue scant enough of elegance, _chère amie_ of Formianus the wildling.
And thee the province declares to be lovely? With thee our Lesbia is to be
compared? O generation witless and unmannerly!


  O funde noster seu Sabine seu Tiburs,
  (Nam te esse Tiburtem autumant, quibus non est
  Cordi Catullum laedere: at quibus cordist,
  Quovis Sabinum pignore esse contendunt)
  Sed seu Sabine sive verius Tiburs,                             5
  Fui libenter in tua suburbana
  Villa malamque pectore expuli tussim,
  Non inmerenti quam mihi meus venter,
  Dum sumptuosas adpeto, dedit, cenas.
  Nam, Sestianus dum volo esse conviva,                         10
  Orationem in Antium petitorem
  Plenam veneni et pestilentiae legi.
  Hic me gravido frigida et frequens tussis
  Quassavit usque dum in tuum sinum fugi
  Et me recuravi otioque et urtica.                             15
  Quare refectus maximas tibi grates
  Ago, meum quod non es ulta peccatum.
  Nec deprecor iam, si nefaria scripta
  Sesti recepso, quin gravidinem et tussim
  Non mi, sed ipsi Sestio ferat frigus,                         20
  Qui tum vocat me, cum malum librum legi.



  O Farm our own, Sabine or Tiburtine,
  (For style thee "Tiburs" who have not at heart
  To hurt Catullus, whereas all that have
  Wage any wager thou be Sabine classed)
  But whether Sabine or of Tiburs truer                          5
  To thy suburban Cottage fared I fain
  And fro' my bronchials drave that cursèd cough
  Which not unmerited on me my maw,
  A-seeking sumptuous banquetings, bestowed.
  For I requesting to be Sestius' guest                         10
  Read against claimant Antius a speech,
  Full-filled with poisonous pestilential trash.
  Hence a grave frigid rheum and frequent cough
  Shook me till fled I to thy bosom, where
  Repose and nettle-broth healed all my ills.                   15
  Wherefore recruited now best thanks I give
  To thee for nowise punishing my sins:
  Nor do I now object if noisome writs
  Of Sestius hear I, but that cold and cough
  And rheum may plague, not me, but Sestius' self               20
  Who asks me only his ill writs to read.

O, Homestead of ours, whether Sabine or Tiburtine (for that thou'rt
Tiburtine folk concur, in whose heart 'tis not to wound Catullus; but those
in whose heart 'tis, will wager anything thou'rt Sabine) but whether Sabine
or more truly Tiburtine, o'erjoyed was I to be within thy rural
country-home, and to cast off an ill cough from my chest, which--not
unearned--my belly granted me, for grasping after sumptuous feeds. For, in
my wish to be Sestius' guest, his defence against the plaintiff Antius,
crammed with venom and pestilent dulness, did I read through. Hence a chill
heavy rheum and fitful cough shattered me continually until I fled to thine
asylum, and brought me back to health with rest and nettle-broth.
Wherefore, re-manned, I give thee utmost thanks, that thou hast not avenged
my fault. Nor do I pray now for aught but that, should I re-take Sestius'
nefarious script, its frigid vapidness may bring a cold and cough to
Sestius' self; for he but invites me when I read dull stuff.


  Acmen Septumius suos amores
  Tenens in gremio 'mea' inquit 'Acme,
  Ni te perdite amo atque amare porro
  Omnes sum adsidue paratus annos
  Quantum qui pote plurimum perire,                              5
  Solus in Libya Indiave tosta
  Caesio veniam obvius leoni.'
  Hoc ut dixit, Amor, sinistra ut ante,
  Dextra sternuit adprobationem.
  At Acme leviter caput reflectens                              10
  Et dulcis pueri ebrios ocellos
  Illo purpureo ore saviata
  'Sic' inquit 'mea vita Septumille,
  Huic uni domino usque serviamus,
  Vt multo mihi maior acriorque                                 15
  Ignis mollibus ardet in medullis.'
  Hoc ut dixit, Amor, sinistra ut ante,
  Dextra sternuit adprobationem.
  Nunc ab auspicio bono profecti
  Mutuis animis amant amantur.                                  20
  Vnam Septumius misellus Acmen
  Mavolt quam Syrias Britanniasque:
  Vno in Septumio fidelis Acme
  Facit delicias libidinesque.
  Quis ullos homines beatiores                                  25
  Vidit, quis Venerem auspicatiorem?



  To Acmé quoth Septumius who his fere
  Held on his bosom--"Acmé, mine! next year,
  Unless I love thee fondlier than before,
  And with each twelve month love thee more and more,
  As much as lover's life can slay with yearning,                5
  Alone in Lybia, or Hind's clime a-burning,
  Be mine to encounter Lion grisly-eyed!"
  While he was speaking Love on leftward side
  (As wont) approving sneeze from dextral sped.
  But Acmé backwards gently bending head,                       10
  And the love-drunken eyes of her sweet boy
  Kissing with yonder rosy mouth, "My joy,"
  She murmured, "my life-love Septumillus mine!
  Unto one master's hest let's aye incline,
  As burns with fuller and with fiercer fire                    15
  In my soft marrow set, this love-desire!"
  While she was speaking, Love from leftward side
  (As wont) with sneeze approving rightwards hied.
  Now with boon omens wafted on their way,
  In mutual fondness, love and loved are they.                  20
  Love-sick Septumius holds one Acmé's love,
  Of Syrias or either Britains high above,
  Acmé to one Septumius full of faith
  Her love and love-liesse surrendereth.
  Who e'er saw mortals happier than these two?                  25
  Who e'er a better omened Venus knew?

Septumius clasping Acme his adored to his bosom, "Acme mine," quoth he, "if
thee I love not to perdition, nor am prepared to love through all the
future years moreover without cease, as greatly and distractedly as man
may,--alone in Libya or in torrid India may I oppose a steel-eyed lion." As
thus he said, Love, leftwards as before, with approbation rightwards
sneezed. Then Acme slightly bending back her head, and the swimming eyes of
her sweet boy with rose-red lips a-kissing, "So," quoth she, "my life,
Septumillus, this Lord unique let us serve for aye, as more forceful in me
burns the fire greater and keener 'midst my soft marrow." As thus she said,
Love, leftwards as before, with approbation rightwards sneezed. Now with
good auspice urged along, with mutual minds they love and are beloved. The
thrall o' love Septumius his only Acme far would choose, than Tyrian or
Britannian realms: the faithful Acme with Septumius unique doth work her
love delights and wantonings. Whoe'er has seen folk blissfuller, whoe'er a
more propitious union?


  Iam ver egelidos refert tepores,
  Iam caeli furor aequinoctialis
  Iocundis Zephyri silescit aureis.
  Linquantur Phrygii, Catulle, campi
  Nicaeaeque ager uber aestuosae:                                5
  Ad claras Asiae volemus urbes.
  Iam mens praetrepidans avet vagari,
  Iam laeti studio pedes vigescunt.
  O dulces comitum valete coetus,
  Longe quos simul a domo profectos                             10
  Diversae variae viae reportant.



  Now Spring his cooly mildness brings us back,
  Now th' equinoctial heaven's rage and wrack
  Hushes at hest of Zephyr's bonny breeze.
  Far left (Catullus!) be the Phrygian leas
  And summery Nicæa's fertile downs:                             5
  Fly we to Asia's fame-illumined towns.
  Now lust my fluttering thoughts for wayfare long,
  Now my glad eager feet grow steady, strong.
  O fare ye well, my comrades, pleasant throng,
  Ye who together far from homesteads flying,                   10
  By many various ways come homewards hieing.

Now springtide brings back its mild and tepid airs, now the heaven's fury
equinoctial is calmed by Zephyr's benign breath. The Phrygian meadows are
left behind, O Catullus, and the teeming fields of sun-scorched Nicaea: to
the glorious Asian cities let us haste. Now my palpitating soul craves
wander, now my feet grow vigorous with glad zeal. O charming circlet of
comrades, fare ye well, who are together met from distant homes to which
divers sundered ways lead back.


  Porci et Socration, duae sinistrae
  Pisonis, scabies famesque mundi
  Vos Veraniolo meo et Fabullo
  Verpus praeposuit Priapus ille?
  Vos convivia lauta sumptuose                                   5
  De die facitis? mei sodales
  Quaerunt in trivio vocationes?



  Porcius and Socration, pair sinister
  Of Piso, scabs and starvelings of the world,
  You to Fabúllus and my Verianólus,
  Hath dared yon snipt Priapus to prefer?
  Upon rich banquets sumptuously spread                          5
  Still gorge you daily while my comrades must
  Go seek invitals where the three roads fork?

Porcius and Socration, twins in rascality of Piso, scurf and famisht of the
earth, you before my Veraniolus and Fabullus has that prepuce-lacking
Priapus placed? Shall you betimes each day in luxurious opulence banquet?
And must my cronies quest for dinner invitations, [lounging] where the
three cross-roads meet?


  Mellitos oculos tuos, Iuventi,
  Siquis me sinat usque basiare,
  Vsque ad milia basiem trecenta,
  Nec umquam videar satur futurus,
  Non si densior aridis aristis                                  5
  Sit nostrae seges osculationis.



  Those honied eyes of thine (Juventius!)
  If any suffer me sans stint to buss,
  I'd kiss of kisses hundred thousands three,
  Nor ever deem I'd reach satiety,
  Not albe denser than dried wheat-ears show                     5
  The kissing harvests our embraces grow.

Thine honey-sweet eyes, O Juventius, had I the leave to kiss for aye, for
aye I'd kiss e'en to three hundred thousand kisses, nor ever should I reach
to future plenity, not even if thicker than dried wheat sheaves be the
harvest of our kisses.


  Disertissime Romuli nepotum,
  Quot sunt quotque fuere, Marce Tulli,
  Quotque post aliis erunt in annis,
  Gratias tibi maximas Catullus
  Agit pessimus omnium poeta,                                    5
  Tanto pessimus omnium poeta
  Quanto tu optimus omnium patronus.



  Most eloquent 'mid race of Romulus
  That is or ever was (Marc Tullius!)
  Or in the coming years the light shall see,
  His thanks, the warmest, offers unto thee
  Catullus, poet sorriest that be,                               5
  And by such measure poet sorriest,
  As thou of pleaders art the bestest best.

Most eloquent of Romulus' descendancy, who are, who have been, O Marcus
Tullius, and who shall later be in after time, to thee doth give his
greatest gratitude Catullus, pettiest of all the poets,--and so much
pettiest of all the poets as thou art peerless 'mongst all pleaders.


  Hesterno, Licini, die otiosi
  Multum lusimus in meis tabellis,
  Vt convenerat esse delicatos.
  Scribens versiculos uterque nostrum
  Ludebat numero modo hoc modo illoc,                            5
  Reddens mutua per iocum atque vinum.
  Atque illinc abii tuo lepore
  Incensus, Licini, facetiisque,
  Vt nec me miserum cibus iuvaret,
  Nec somnus tegeret quiete ocellos,                            10
  Sed toto indomitus furore lecto
  Versarer cupiens videre lucem,
  Vt tecum loquerer, simulque ut essem.
  At defessa labore membra postquam
  Semimortua lectulo iacebant,                                  15
  Hoc, iocunde, tibi poema feci,
  Ex quo perspiceres meum dolorem.
  Nunc audax cave sis, precesque nostras,
  Oramus, cave despuas, ocelle,
  Ne poenas Nemesis reposcat a te.                              20
  Est vemens dea: laedere hanc caveto.



  Idly (Licinius!) we our yesterday,
  Played with my tablets much as pleased us play,
  In mode becoming souls of dainty strain.
  Inditing verses either of us twain
  Now in one measure then in other line                          5
  We rang the changes amid wit and wine.
  Then fared I homewards by thy fun so fired
  And by thy jests (Licinius!) so inspired,
  Nor food my hapless appetite availed
  Nor sleep in quiet rest my eyelids veiled,                    10
  But o'er the bedstead wild in furious plight
  I tossed a-longing to behold the light,
  So I might talk wi' thee, and be wi' thee.
  But when these wearied limbs from labour free
  Were on my couchlet strewn half-dead to lie,                  15
  For thee (sweet wag!) this poem for thee wrote I,
  Whereby thou mete and weet my cark and care.
  Now be not over-bold, nor this our prayer
  Outspit thou (apple of mine eyes!): we pray
  Lest doom thee Nemesis hard pain repay:--                     20
  She's a dire Goddess, 'ware thou cross her way.

Yestreen, Licinius, in restful day, much mirthful verse we flashed upon my
tablets, as became us, men of fancy. Each jotting versicles in turn sported
first in this metre then in that, exchanging mutual epigrams 'midst jokes
and wine. But I departed thence, afire, Licinius, with thy wit and
drolleries, so that food was useless to my wretched self; nor could sleep
close mine eyes in quiet, but all o'er the bed in restless fury did I toss,
longing to behold daylight that with thee I might speak, and again we might
be together. But afterwards, when my limbs, weakened by my restless
labours, lay stretched in semi-death upon the bed, this poem, O jocund one,
I made for thee, from which thou mayst perceive my dolour. Now 'ware thee
of presumptuousness, and our pleadings 'ware thee of rejecting, we pray
thee, eye-babe of ours, lest Nemesis exact her dues from thee. She is a
forceful Goddess; 'ware her wrath.


  Ille mi par esse deo videtur,
  Ille, si fas est, superare divos,
  Qui sedens adversus identidem te
      Spectat et audit
  Dulce ridentem, misero quod omnis                              5
  Eripit sensus mihi: nam simul te,
  Lesbia, aspexi, nihil est super mi
      *    *    *    *
  Lingua sed torpet, tenuis sub artus
  Flamma demanat, sonitu suopte                                 10
  Tintinant aures geminae, teguntur
      Lumina nocte.


  Otium, Catulle, tibi molestumst:
  Otio exultas nimiumque gestis.                                15
  Otium et reges prius et beatas
    Perdidit urbes.



  Peer of a God meseemeth he,
  Nay passing Gods (and that can be!)
  Who all the while sits facing thee
      Sees thee and hears
  Thy low sweet laughs which (ah me!) daze                       5
  Mine every sense, and as I gaze
  Upon thee (Lesbia!) o'er me strays
      *    *    *    *
  My tongue is dulled, my limbs adown
  Flows subtle flame; with sound its own                        10
  Rings either ear, and o'er are strown
      Mine eyes with night.


  Ease has thy lot, Catullus, crost,
  Ease gladdens thee at heaviest cost,                          15
  Ease killed the Kings ere this and lost
      The tallest towns.

He to me to be peer to a god doth seem, he, if such were lawful, to
o'er-top the gods, who sitting oft a-front of thee doth gaze on thee, and
doth listen to thine laughter lovely, which doth snatch away from sombre me
mine every sense: for instant falls my glance on thee, Lesbia, naught is
left to me [of voice], but my tongue is numbed, a keen-edged flame spreads
through my limbs, with sound self-caused my twin ears sing, and mine eyes
are enwrapped with night.

Sloth, O Catullus, to thee is hurtful: in sloth beyond measure dost thou
exult and pass thy life. Sloth hath erewhile ruined rulers and gladsome


  Quid est, Catulle? quid moraris emori?
  Sella in curuli struma Nonius sedet,
  Per consulatum peierat Vatinius:
  Quid est, Catulle? quid moraris emori?



  What is't, Catullus? Why delay to out die?
  That Wen hight Nonius sits in curule chair,
  For Consulship Vatinius false doth swear;
  What is't, Catullus? Why delay to out die?

Prithee Catullus, why delay thine death? Nonius the tumour is seated in the
curule chair, Vatinius forswears himself for consul's rank: prithee
Catullus, why delay thine death?


  Risi nescioquem modo e corona,
  Qui, cum mirifice Vatiniana
  Meus crimina Calvos explicasset,
  Admirans ait haec manusque tollens,
  'Di magni, salaputium disertum!'                               5



  I laughed at one 'mid Forum-crowd unknown
  Who, when Vatinius' crimes in wondrous way
  Had by my Calvus been explained, exposed,
  His hand upraising high admiring cried
  "Great Gods! the loquent little Doodle-diddle!"                5

I laughed at I know not whom in the crowded court who, when with admirable
art Vatinius' crimes my Calvus had set forth, with hands uplifted and
admiring mien thus quoth "Great Gods, the fluent little Larydoodle!"


  Othonis caput oppidost pusillum
      *    *    *    *
  Neri rustica semilauta crura,
  Subtile et leve peditum Libonis.
      *    *    *    *
  Si non omnia displicere vellem
  Tibi et Fuficio seni recocte                                   5


  Irascere iterum meis iambis
  Inmerentibus, unice imperator.



  The head of Otho, puniest of pates
      *    *    *    *
  The rustic half-washt shanks of Nerius
  And Libo's subtle silent fizzling-farts.
      *    *    *    *
  I wish that leastwise these should breed disgust
  In thee and old Fuficius, rogue twice-cookt.                   5


  Again at these mine innocent iamb-lines
  Wi' wrath be wrothest; unique Emperor!

Otho's head is paltry past all phrase * * * the uncouth semi-soaped shanks
of Nerius, the slender soundless fizzlings of Libo * * * if not all things
I wish would displease thee and Fuficius, the white-headed and

Anew thou shalt be enraged at my harmless iambics, emperor unique.


  Oramus, si forte non molestumst,
  Demostres, ubi sint tuae tenebrae.
  Te campo quaesivimus minore,
  Te in circo, te in omnibus libellis,
  Te in templo summi Iovis sacrato.                              5
  In Magni simul ambulatione
  Femellas omnes, amice, prendi,
  Quas vultu vidi tamen serenas.
  A, vel te sic ipse flagitabam,
  'Camerium mihi, pessimae puellae.'                            10
  Quaedam inquit, nudum sinum reducens,
  'En heic in roseis latet papillis.'
  Sed te iam ferre Herculei labos est.                          13
  Non custos si fingar ille Cretum,                             23
  Non si Pegaseo ferar volatu,
  Non Ladas ego pinnipesve Perseus,                             25
  Non Rhesi nivea citaque biga:
  Adde huc plumipedes volatilesque,
  Ventorumque simul require cursum:
  Quos cunctos, Cameri, mihi dicares,
  Defessus tamen omnibus medullis                               30
  Et multis langoribus peresus
  Essem te mihi, amice, quaeritando.                            32
  Tanto ten fastu negas, amice?                                 14
  Dic nobis ubi sis futurus, ede
  Audacter, conmitte, crede lucei.
  Num te lacteolae tenent puellae?
  Si linguam clauso tenes in ore,
  Fructus proicies amoris omnes:
  Verbosa gaudet Venus loquella.                                20
  Vel si vis, licet obseres palatum,
  Dum vostri sim particeps amoris.



  We pray, an' haply irk it not when prayed,
  Show us where shadowed hidest thou in shade!
  Thee throughout Campus Minor sought we all,
  Thee in the Circus, thee in each bookstall,
  Thee in Almighty Jove's fane consecrate.                       5
  Nor less in promenade titled from The Great
  (Friend!) I accosted each and every quean,
  But mostly madams showing mien serene,
  For thee I pestered all with many pleas--
  "Give me Camérius, wanton baggages!"                          10
  Till answered certain one a-baring breasts
  "Lo, 'twixt these rosy paps he haply rests!"
  But now to find thee were Herculean feat.                     13
  Not if I feignèd me that guard of Crete,                      23
  Not if with Pegasèan wing I sped,
  Or Ladas I or Perseus plumiped,                               25
  Or Rhesus borne in swifty car snow-white:
  Add the twain foot-bewing'd and fast of flight,
  And of the cursive winds require the blow:
  All these (Camérius!) couldst on me bestow.
  Tho' were I wearied to each marrow bone                       30
  And by many o' languors clean forgone
  Yet I to seek thee (friend!) would still assay.               32
  In such proud lodging (friend) wouldst self denay?            14
  Tell us where haply dwell'st thou, speak outright,
  Be bold and risk it, trusting truth to light,
  Say do these milk-white girls thy steps detain?
  If aye in tight-sealed lips thy tongue remain,
  All Amor's fruitage thou shalt cast away:
  Verbose is Venus, loving verbal play!                         20
  But, an it please thee, padlockt palate bear,
  So in your friendship I have partner-share.

We beg, if maybe 'tis not untoward, thou'lt shew us where may be thine
haunt sequestered. Thee did we quest within the Lesser Fields, thee in the
Circus, thee in every bookshop, thee in holy fane of highmost Jove. In
promenade yclept "The Great," the crowd of cocottes straightway did I stop,
O friend, accosting those whose looks I noted were unruffled. And for thee
loudly did I clamour, "Restore to me Camerius, most giddy girls." Quoth
such-an-one, her bosom bare a-shewing, "Look! 'twixt rose-red paps he
shelters him." But labour 'tis of Hercules thee now to find. Not were I
framed the Cretan guard, nor did I move with Pegasean wing, nor were I
Ladas, or Persius with the flying foot, or Rhesus with swift and snowy
team: to these add thou the feathery-footed and winged ones, ask likewise
fleetness of the winds: which all united, O Camerius, couldst thou me
grant, yet exhausted in mine every marrow and with many a faintness
consumed should I be in my quest for thee, O friend. Why withdraw thyself
in so much pride, O friend? Tell us where thou wilt be found, declare it
boldly, give up the secret, trust it to the light. What, do the milk-white
maidens hold thee? If thou dost hold thy tongue closed up in mouth, thou
squanderest Love's every fruit: for Venus joys in many-worded babblings.
Yet if thou wishest, thou mayst bar thy palate, if I may be a sharer in thy


  Orem ridiculam, Cato, et iocosam
  Dignamque auribus et tuo cachinno.
  Ride, quidquid amas, Cato, Catullum:
  Res est ridicula et nimis iocosa.
  Deprendi modo pupulum puellae                                  5
  Trusantem: hunc ego, si placet Dionae,
  Protelo rigida mea cecidi.



  O risible matter (Cato!) and jocose,
  Digne of thy hearing, of thy sneering digne.
  Laugh (Cato!) an thou love Catullus thine;
  The thing is risible, nay, too jocose.
  Erstwhile I came upon a lad who a lass                         5
  Was ---- and (so please it Dion!) I
  Pierced him with stiffest staff and did him die.

O thing ridiculous, Cato, and facetious, and worthy of thine ears and of
thy laughter. Laugh, Cato, the more thou lovest Catullus: the thing is
ridiculous, and beyond measure facetious. Just now I caught a boy
a-thrusting in a girl: and on him (so please you, Dione) with rigid spear
of mine I fell.


  Pulcre convenit inprobis cinaedis,
  Mamurrae pathicoque Caesarique.
  Nec mirum: maculae pares utrisque,
  Vrbana altera et illa Formiana,
  Inpressae resident nec eluentur:                               5
  Morbosi pariter, gemelli utrique
  Vno in lectulo, erudituli ambo,
  Non hic quam ille magis vorax adulter,
  Rivales sociei puellularum.
  Pulcre convenit inprobis cinaedis.                            10



  Right well are paired these Cinaedes sans shame
  Mamurra and Cæsar, both of pathic fame.
  No wonder! Both are fouled with foulest blight,
  One urban being, Formian t'other wight,
  And deeply printed with indelible stain:                       5
  Morbose is either, and the twin-like twain
  Share single Couchlet; peers in shallow lore,
  Nor this nor that for lechery hungers more,
  As rival wenchers who the maidens claim
  Right well are paired these Cinaedes sans shame.              10

A comely couple of shameless catamites, Mamurra and Caesar, pathics both.
Nor needs amaze: they share like stains--this, Urban, the other,
Formian,--which stay deep-marked nor can they be got rid of. Both morbidly
diseased through pathic vice, the pair of twins lie in one bed, alike in
erudition, one not more than other the greater greedier adulterer, allied
rivals of the girls. A comely couple of shameless catamites.


  Caeli, Lesbia nostra, Lesbia illa,
  Illa Lesbia, quam Catullus unam
  Plus quam se atque suos amavit omnes,
  Nunc in quadriviis et angiportis
  Glubit magnanimos Remi nepotes.                                5



  Cælius! That Lesbia of ours, that Lesbia,
  That only Lesbia by Catullus loved,
  Than self, far fondlier, than all his friends,
  She now where four roads fork, and wind the wynds
  Husks the high-minded scions Remus-sprung.                     5

O Caelius, our Lesbia, that Lesbia, the self-same Lesbia whom Catullus more
than himself and all his own did worship, now at cross-roads and in alleys
husks off the mettlesome descendants of Remus.


  Bononiensis Rufa Rufulum fellat,
  Vxor Meneni, saepe quam in sepulcretis
  Vidistis ipso rapere de rogo cenam,
  Cum devolutum ex igne prosequens panem
  Ab semiraso tunderetur ustore.                                 5



  Rúfa the Bolognese drains Rufule dry,
  (Wife to Menenius) she 'mid tombs you'll spy,
  The same a-snatching supper from the pyre
  Following the bread-loaves rolling forth the fire
  Till frapped by half-shaved body-burner's ire.                 5

Rufa of Bononia lends her lips to Rufulus, she the wife of Menenius, whom
oft among the sepulchres ye have seen clutching her meal from the funeral
pile, when pursuing the bread which has rolled from the fire, whilst she
was being buffeted by a semi-shorn corpse-burner.


  Num te leaena montibus Libystinis
  Aut Scylla latrans infima inguinum parte
  Tam mente dura procreavit ac taetra,
  Vt supplicis vocem in novissimo casu
  Contemptam haberes a! nimis fero corde?                        5



  Bare thee some lioness wild in Lybian wold?
  Or Scylla barking from low'st inguinal fold?
  With so black spirit, of so dure a mould,
  E'en voice of suppliant must thou disregard
  In latest circumstance ah, heart o'er hard?                    5

Did a lioness of the Libyan Hills, or Scylla yelping from her lowmost
groin, thee procreate, with mind so hard and horrid, that thou hast
contempt upon a suppliant's voice in calamity's newest stress? O heart
o'ergreatly cruel.


  Collis o Heliconii
    Cultor, Vraniae genus,
    Qui rapis teneram ad virum
  Virginem, o Hymenaee Hymen,
    O Hymen Hymenaee,                                            5

  Cinge tempora floribus
    Suave olentis amaraci,
    Flammeum cape, laetus huc
  Huc veni niveo gerens
    Luteum pede soccum,                                         10

  Excitusque hilari die
    Nuptialia concinens
    Voce carmina tinnula
  Pelle humum pedibus, manu
    Pineam quate taedam.                                        15

  Namque Vinia Manlio,
    Qualis Idalium colens
    Venit ad Phrygium Venus
  Iudicem, bona cum bona
    Nubet alite virgo,                                          20

  Floridis velut enitens
    Myrtus Asia ramulis,
    Quos Hamadryades deae
  Ludicrum sibi rosido
    Nutriunt umore.                                             25

  Quare age huc aditum ferens
    Perge linquere Thespiae
    Rupis Aonios specus,
  Nympha quos super inrigat
    Frigerans Aganippe,                                         30

  Ac domum dominam voca
    Coniugis cupidam novi,
    Mentem amore revinciens,
  Vt tenax hedera huc et huc
    Arborem inplicat errans.                                    35

  Vosque item simul, integrae
    Virgines, quibus advenit
    Par dies, agite in modum
  Dicite 'o Hymenaee Hymen,
    O Hymen Hymenaee,'                                          40

  Vt lubentius, audiens
    Se citarier ad suom
    Munus, huc aditum ferat
  Dux bonae Veneris, boni
    Coniugator amoris.                                          45

  Quis deus magis anxiis
    Est petendus amantibus?
    Quem colent homines magis
  Caelitum? o Hymenaee Hymen,
    O Hymen Hymenaee.                                           50

  Te suis tremulus parens
    Invocat, tibi virgines
    Zonula soluunt sinus,
  Te timens cupida novos
    Captat aure maritus.                                        55

  Tu fero iuveni in manus
    Floridam ipse puellulam
    Dedis a gremio suae
  Matris, o Hymenaee Hymen,
    O Hymen Hymenaee.                                           60

  Nil potest sine te Venus,
    Fama quod bona conprobet,
    Commodi capere: at potest
  Te volente. quis huic deo
    Conpararier ausit?                                          65

  Nulla quit sine te domus
    Liberos dare, nec parens
    Stirpe cingier: at potest
  Te volente. quis huic deo
    Conpararier ausit?                                          70

  Quae tuis careat sacris,
    Non queat dare praesides
    Terra finibus: at queat
  Te volente. quis huic deo
    Conpararier ausit?                                          75

  Claustra pandite ianuae,
    Virgo ades. viden ut faces
    Splendidas quatiunt comas?
  Tardet ingenuos pudor:
      *    *    *    *

      *    *    *    *
      *    *    *    *
      *    *    *    *
  Quem tamen magis audiens                                      80
    Flet, quod ire necesse est.                                 81

  Flere desine. non tibi, A-                                   (86)
    runculeia, periculumst,
    Nequa femina pulchrior
  Clarum ab Oceano diem                                         85
    Viderit venientem.                                         (90)

  Talis in vario solet
    Divitis domini hortulo
    Stare flos hyacinthinus.
  Sed moraris, abit dies:                                       90
    _Prodeas, nova nupta._

  Prodeas, nova nupta, si
    Iam videtur, et audias
    Nostra verba. vide ut faces
  Aureas quatiunt comas:                                        95
    Prodeas, nova nupta.

  Non tuos levis in mala
    Deditus vir adultera
    Probra turpia persequens
  A tuis teneris volet                                         100
    Secubare papillis,

  Lenta quin velut adsitas
    Vitis inplicat arbores,
    Inplicabitur in tuom
  Conplexum. sed abit dies:                                    105
    Prodeas, nova nupta.

  O cubile, quod omnibus
      *    *    *    *
      *    *    *    *
      *    *    *    *                                         110
    Candido pede lecti,

  Quae tuo veniunt ero,
    Quanta gaudia, quae vaga
    Nocte, quae medio die
  Gaudeat! sed abit dies:                                      115
    Prodeas, nova nupta.

  Tollite, o pueri, faces:
    Flammeum video venire.
    Ite, concinite in modum
  'O Hymen Hymenaee io,                                        120
    O Hymen Hymenaee.'

  Ne diu taceat procax
    Fescennina iocatio,
    Nec nuces pueris neget
  Desertum domini audiens                                      125
    Concubinus amorem.

  Da nuces pueris, iners
    Concubine: satis diu
    Lusisti nucibus: lubet
  Iam servire Talasio.                                         130
    Concubine, nuces da.

  Sordebant tibi vilicae,
    Concubine, hodie atque heri:
    Nunc tuom cinerarius
  Tondet os. miser a miser                                     135
    Concubine, nuces da.

  Diceris male te a tuis
    Vnguentate glabris marite
    Abstinere: sed abstine.
  O Hymen Hymenaee io,                                         140
    O Hymen Hymenaee.

  Scimus haec tibi quae licent
    Sola cognita: sed marito
    Ista non eadem licent.
  O Hymen Hymenaee io,                                         145
    O Hymen Hymenaee.

  Nupta, tu quoque, quae tuos
    Vir petet, cave ne neges,
    Ni petitum aliunde eat.
  O Hymen Hymenaee io,                                         150
    O Hymen Hymenaee.

  En tibi domus ut potens
    Et beata viri tui,
    Quae tibi sine fine erit
  (O Hymen Hymenaee io,                                        155
    O Hymen Hymenaee),

  Vsque dum tremulum movens
    Cana tempus anilitas
    Omnia omnibus adnuit.
  O Hymen Hymenaee io,                                         160
    O Hymen Hymenaee.

  Transfer omine cum bono
    Limen aureolos pedes,
    Rasilemque subi forem.
  O Hymen Hymenaee io,                                         165
    O Hymen Hymenaee.

  Aspice, intus ut accubans
    Vir tuos Tyrio in toro
    Totus inmineat tibi.
  O Hymen Hymenaee io,                                         170
    O Hymen Hymenaee.

  Illi non minus ac tibi
    Pectore uritur intimo
    Flamma, sed penite magis.
  O Hymen Hymenaee io,                                         175
    O Hymen Hymenaee.

  Mitte brachiolum teres,
    Praetextate, puellulae:
    Iam cubile adeat viri.
  O Hymen Hymenaee io,                                         180
    O Hymen Hymenaee.

  Vos bonae senibus viris
    Cognitae bene feminae,
    Collocate puellulam.
  O Hymen Hymenaee io,                                         185
    O Hymen Hymenaee.

  Iam licet venias, marite:
    Vxor in thalamo tibist
    Ore floridulo nitens,
  Alba parthenice velut                                        190
    Luteumve papaver.

  At, marite, (ita me iuvent
    Caelites) nihilo minus
    Pulcher es, neque te Venus
  Neglegit. sed abit dies:                                     195
    Perge, ne remorare.

  Non diu remoratus es,
    Iam venis. bona te Venus
    Iuverit, quoniam palam
  Quod cupis capis et bonum                                    200
    Non abscondis amorem.

  Ille pulveris Africei
    Siderumque micantium
    Subducat numerum prius,
  Qui vostri numerare volt                                     205
    Multa milia ludei.

  Ludite ut lubet, et brevi
    Liberos date. non decet
    Tam vetus sine liberis
  Nomen esse, sed indidem                                      210
    Semper ingenerari.

  Torquatus volo parvolus
    Matris e gremio suae
    Porrigens teneras manus
  Dulce rideat ad patrem                                       215
    Semhiante labello.

  Sit suo similis patri
    Manlio et facile inscieis
    Noscitetur ab omnibus
  Et pudicitiam suae                                           220
    Matris indicet ore.

  Talis illius a bona
    Matre laus genus adprobet,
    Qualis unica ab optima
  Matre Telemacho manet                                        225
    Fama Penelopeo.

  Claudite ostia, virgines:
    Lusimus satis. at, bonei
    Coniuges, bene vivite et
  Munere adsiduo valentem                                      230
    Exercete inventam.




  Of Helicon-hill, O Thou that be
  Haunter, Urania's progeny,
  Who hurriest soft virginity
    To man, O Hymenæus Hymen,
          O Hymen Hymenæus.                                      5


  About thy temples bind the bloom,
    Of Marjoram flow'ret scented sweet;
  Take flamey veil: glad hither come
    Come hither borne by snow-hue'd feet
          Wearing the saffron'd sock.                           10


  And, roused by day of joyful cheer,
    Carolling nuptial lays and chaunts
  With voice as silver-ringing clear,
    Beat ground with feet, while brandisht flaunts
          Thy hand the piney torch.                             15


  For Vinia comes by Manlius woo'd,
    As Venus on th' Idalian crest,
  Before the Phrygian judge she stood
    And now with blessèd omens blest,
          The maid is here to wed.                              20


  A maiden shining bright of blee,
    As Myrtle branchlet Asia bred,
  Which Hamadryad deity
    As toy for joyance aye befed
          With humour of the dew.                               25


  Then hither come thou, hieing lief,
    Awhile to leave th' Aonian cave,
  Where 'neath the rocky Thespian cliff
    Nymph Aganippe loves to lave
          In cooly waves outpoured.                             30


  And call the house-bride, homewards bring
    Maid yearning for new married fere,
  Her mind with fondness manacling,
    As the tough ivy here and there
          Errant the tree enwinds.                              35


  And likewise ye, clean virginal
  Maidens, to whom shall haps befall
  Like day, in measure join ye all
    Singing, O Hymenæus Hymen,
          O Hymen Hymenæus.                                     40


  That with more will-full will a-hearing
    The call to office due, he would
  Turn footsteps hither, here appearing,
    Guide to good Venus, and the good
          Lover conjoining strait.                              45


  What God than other Godheads more
  Must love-sick wights for aid implore?
  Whose Godhead foremost shall adore
    Mankind? O Hymenæus Hymen,
          O Hymen Hymenæus.                                     50


  Thee for his own the trembling sire
    Invokes, thee Virgins ever sue
  Who laps of zone to loose aspire,
    And thee the bashful bridegrooms woo
          With ears that long to hear.                          55


  Thou to the hand of love-fierce swain
  Deliverest maiden fair and fain,
  From mother's fondling bosom ta'en
    Perforce, O Hymenæus Hymen
          O Hymen Hymenæus.                                     60


  Thou lacking, Venus ne'er avails--
    While Fame approves for honesty--
  Love-joys to lavish: ne'er she fails
    Thou willing:--with such Deity
          Whoe'er shall dare compare?                           65


  Thou wanting, never son and heir
    The Hearth can bear, nor parents be
  By issue girt, yet can it bear,
    Thou willing:--with such Deity,
          Whoe'er shall dare compare?                           70


  An lack a land thy sacring rite,
    The perfect rule we ne'er shall see
  Reach Earth's far bourne; yet such we sight,
    Thou willing:--with such Deity
          Whoe'er shall dare compare?                           75


  Your folds ye gateways wide-ope swing!
    The maiden comes. Seest not the sheen
  Of links their splendent tresses fling?
    Let shame retard the modest mien.
      *    *    *    *


      *    *    *    *
      *    *    *    *
      *    *    *    *
    Who more she hears us weeps the more,                       80
          That needs she must advance.                          81


  Cease raining tear-drops! not for thee,                      (86)
    Aurunculeia, risk we deem,
  That fairer femininety
    Clear day outdawned from Ocean stream                       85
          Shall ever more behold.                              (90)


  Such in the many-tinted bower
    Of rich man's garden passing gay
  Upstands the hyacinthine flower.
    But thou delayest, wanes the day:                           90
          _Prithee, come forth new Bride._


  Prithee, come forth new Bride! methinks,
    Drawing in sight, the talk we hold
  Thou haply hearest. See the Links!
    How shake their locks begilt with gold:                     95
          Prithee, new Bride come forth.


  Not lightly given thy mate to ill
    Joys and adulterous delights
  Foul fleshly pleasures seeking still
    Shall ever choose he lie o' nights                         100
          Far from thy tender paps.


  But as with pliant shoots the vine
    Round nearest tree-trunk winds her way,
  He shall be ever twined in thine
    Embraces:--yet, lo! wanes the day:                         105
          Prithee, come forth new Bride!


  Couchlet which to me and all
      *    *    *    *
      *    *    *    *
      *    *    *    *                                         110
          With bright white bedstead foot.


  What joys the lord of thee betide!
    What love-liesse on vaguing way
  O' nights! What sweets in morning tide
    For thee be stored! Yet wanes the day:                     115
          Prithee, come forth fresh Bride!


  Your lighted links, O boys, wave high:
  I see the flamey veil draw nigh:
  Hie, sing in merry mode and cry
    "O Hymen Hymenæus io,                                      120
          O Hymen Hymenæus!"


  Lest longer mute tongue stays that joys
    In festal jest, from Fescennine,
  Nor yet denay their nuts to boys,
    He-Concubine! who learns in fine                           125
          His lordling's love is fled.


  Throw nuts to boys thou idle all
    He-Concubine! wast fain full long
  With nuts to play: now pleased as thrall
    Be thou to swell Talasios' throng:                         130
          He-Concubine throw nuts.


  Wont thou at peasant-girls to jape
    He-whore! Thy Lord's delight the while:
  Now shall hair-curling chattel scrape
    Thy cheeks: poor wretch, ah! poor and vile:--              135
          He-Concubine, throw nuts.


  'Tis said from smooth-faced ingle train
  (Anointed bridegroom!) hardly fain
  Hast e'er refrained; now do refrain!
    O Hymen Hymenæus io,                                       140
          O Hymen Hymenæus!


  We know that naught save licit rites
  Be known to thee, but wedded wights
  No more deem lawful such delights.
    O Hymen Hymenæus io,                                       145
          O Hymen Hymenæus.


  Thou too, O Bride, whatever dare
  Thy groom, of coy rebuff beware,
  Lest he to find elsewhither fare.
    O Hymen Hymenæus io,                                       150
          O Hymen Hymenæus.


  Lo! here the house of high degree
  Thy husband's puissant home to be,
  Which ever shall obey thy gree.
  O Hymen Hymenæus io,                                         155
          O Hymen Hymenæus!


  Till Time betide when eld the hoar
  Thy head and temples trembling o'er
  Make nod to all things evermore.
    O Hymen Hymenæus io,                                       160
          O Hymen Hymenæus.


  O'erstep with omen meetest meet
  The threshold-stone thy golden feet
  Up, past the polisht panels fleet.
    O Hymen Hymenæus io,                                       165
          O Hymen Hymenæus.


  Within bestrewn thy bridegroom see
  On couch of Tyrian cramoisy
  All imminent awaiting thee.
    O Hymen Hymenæus io,                                       170
          O Hymen Hymenæus.


  For in his breast not less than thine
  Burn high the flames that deepest shrine,
  Yet his the lowe far deeper lien.
    O Hymen Hymenæus io,                                       175
          O Hymen Hymenæus.


  Let fall the maid's soft arms, thou fair
  Boy purple-hem'd: now be thy care
  Her bridegroom's couch she seek and share.
    O Hymen Hymenæus io,                                       180
          O Hymen Hymenæus.


  Ye wives time-tried to husbands wed,
  Well-known for chastity inbred,
  Dispose the virginette a-bed.
    O Hymen Hymenæus io,                                       185
          O Hymen Hymenæus.


  Groom, now 'tis meet thou hither pace,
    With bride in genial bed to blend,
  For sheenly shines her flowery face
    Where the white chamomiles contend                         190
          With poppies blushing red.


  Yet bridegroom (So may Godhead deign
    Help me!) nowise in humbler way
  Art fair, nor Venus shall disdain
    Thy charms, but look! how wanes the day:                   195
          Forward, nor loiter more!


  No longer loitering makest thou,
    Now comest thou. May Venus good
  Aid thee when frankly takest thou
    Thy wishes won, nor true Love woo'd                        200
          Thou carest to conceal.


  Of Afric's wolds and wilds each grain,
    Or constellations glistening,
  First reckon he that of the twain
    To count alone were fain to bring                          205
          The many thousand joys.


  Play as ye please: soon prove ye deft
    At babying babes,--'twere ill design'd
  A name thus ancient should be left
    Heirless, but issue like of kind                           210
          Engendered aye should be.


  A wee Torquátus fain I'd see
    Encradled on his mother's breast
  Put forth his tender puds while he
    Smiles to his sire with sweetest gest                      215
          And liplets half apart.


  Let son like father's semblance show
    (Manlius!) so with easy guess
  All know him where his sire they know,
    And still his face and form express                        220
          His mother's honest love.


  Approve shall fair approof his birth
    From mother's seed-stock generous,
  As rarest fame of mother's worth
    Unique exalts Telemachus                                   225
          Penelope's own son.


  Fast close the door-leaves, virgin band:
    Enow we've played. But ye the fair
  New-wedded twain live happy, and
    Functions of lusty married pair                            230
          Exercise sans surcease.

O Fosterer of the Helicon Hill, sprung from Urania, who beareth the gentle
virgin to her mate, O Hymenaeus Hymen, O Hymen Hymenaeus!

Twine round thy temples sweet-smelling flowerets of marjoram; put on thy
gold-tinted veil; light-hearted, hither, hither haste, bearing on snowy
foot the golden-yellow sandal:

And a-fire with the joyous day, chanting wedding melodies with ringing
voice, strike the ground with thy feet, with thine hand swing aloft the

For Vinia--fair as Idalian Venus, when stood before the Phrygian judge--a
virgin fair, weds Manlius 'midst happy auspices.

She, bright-shining as the Asian myrtle florid in branchlets, which the
Hamadryads nurture for their pleasure with besprinkled dew.

Wherefore, hither! leaving the Aonian grot in the Thespian Rock, o'er which
flows the chilling stream of Aganippe.

And summon homewards the mistress, eager for her new yoke, firm-prisoning
her soul in love; as tight-clasping ivy, wandering hither, thither, enwraps
the tree around.

And also ye, upright virgins, for whom a like day is nearing, chant ye in
cadence, singing "O Hymenaeus Hymen, O Hymen Hymenaeus!"

That more freely, hearing himself to his duty called, will he bear hither
his presence, Lord of true Venus, uniter of true lovers.

What god is worthier of solicitation by anxious amourists? Whom of the
celestials do men worship more greatly? O Hymenaeus Hymen, O Hymen

Thee for his young the trembling father beseeches, for thee virgins unclasp
the zone from their breasts, for thee the fear-full bridegroom harkeneth
with eager ear.

Thou bearest to the youngster's arms that flower-like damsel, taken from
her mother's bosom, O Hymenaeus Hymen, O Hymen Hymenaeus!

Nor lacking thee may Venus take her will with fair Fame's approbation; but
she may, with thy sanction. With such a God who dares compare?

Lacking thee, no house can yield heirs, nor parent be surrounded by
offspring; but they may, with thy sanction. With such a God who dares

Nor lacking thy rites may our land be protected e'en to its boundaries; but
it may, with thy sanction. With such a God who dares compare?

Gates open wide: the virgin is here. See how the torch-flakes shake their
gleaming locks? Let shame retard the modest:

      *    *    *    *

Yet hearing, greater does she weep, that she must onwards go.

Cease thy tears. For thee there is no peril, Aurunculeia, that any woman
more beauteous from Ocean springing shall ever see the light of day.

Thou art like the hyacinthine flower, wont to stand aloft 'midst varied
riches of its lordling's garden. But thou delayest, day slips by: advance,
new mated one.

Advance, new mated, now in sight, and listen to our speech. Note how the
torch-flakes shake their glittering tresses: advance, new mated one.

Nor given to ill adulteries, nor seeking lawless shames, shall thy husband
ever wish to lie away from thy soft breasts,

But as the lithe vine amongst neighbouring trees doth cling, so shall he be
enclasped in thine encircled arms. But day slips by: advance, new mated

O nuptial couch * * * * with feet of ivory white.

What joys are coming to thy lord, in gloom o' night, in noon of day. Let
him rejoice! but day slips by: advance, new mated one.

High raise, O boys, the torches: I see the gleaming veil approach. Come,
chant in cadence, "O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus."

Nor longer silent is lewd Fescinnine jest, nor to the boys the nuts deny,
ingle, hearing thy master's love has flown.

Give nuts to the boys, O listless ingle; enough of days thou hast played
with nuts: now 'tis meet to serve Talassius. O ingle, give the nuts!

The country lasses slighted were by thee, O ingle, till to-day: now the
bride's tiresman shaves thy face. Wretched, wretched ingle, give the nuts.

They say that from thy hairless ingles, O sweet-scented bridegroom, thou
canst scarce abstain: but abstain thou! O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen

We know that these delights were known to thee only when lawful: but to the
wedded these same no more are lawful. O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen

Thou also, bride, what thy husband seekest beware of denying, lest he go
elsewhere in its search. O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus!

Look, thy husband's home is thine, potent and goodly, and shall be thine
for ever more. O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus!

Until with trembling movement thine hoary brow nods ever to everything. O
Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus!

Lift o'er the threshold with good omen thy glistening feet, and go through
the polished gates. O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus!

Look! thy lord within, lying on Tyrian couch, all-expectant waits for thee.
O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus!

Not less than in thine, in his breast burns an inmost flame, but more
deeply inward. O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus!

Unloose the damsel's slender arm, O purple-bordered youth: now let her
approach her husband's couch. O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus.

Ye good dames of fair renown to aged spouses, put ye the damsel a-bed. O
Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus.

Now thou mayst come, O bridegroom: thy wife is in the bridal-bed, with face
brightly blushing as white parthenice 'midst ruddy poppies.

But, O bridegroom (so help me the heaven-dwellers) in no way less beautiful
art thou, nor doth Venus slight thee. But the day slips by: on! nor more

Nor long hast thou delayed, thou comest now. May kindly Venus help thee,
since what thou dost desire thou takest publicly, and dost not conceal true

Of Afric's sands and glittering stars the number first let him tell, who
wishes to keep count of your many-thousand sports.

Sport as ye like, and speedily give heirs. It does not become so old a name
to be sans heirs, but for similar stock always to be generated.

A little Torquatus I wish, from his mother's bosom reaching out his dainty
hands, and smiling sweetly at his father with lips apart.

May he be like his sire Manlius, and easily acknowledged by every stranger,
and by his face point out his mother's faithfulness.

May such praise confirm his birth from true mother, such fame unique as
rests with Telemachus from best of mothers, Penelope.

Close ye the doors, virgins: enough we've sported. But, fair bride and
groom, live ye well, and diligently fulfil the office of vigorous youth.


  Vesper adest, iuvenes, consurgite: Vesper Olympo
  Expectata diu vix tandem lumina tollit.
  Surgere iam tempus, iam pingues linquere mensas,
  Iam veniet virgo, iam dicetur Hymenaeus.
    Hymen o Hymenaee, Hymen ades o Hymenaee!                     5

  Cernitis, innuptae, iuvenes? consurgite contra:
  Nimirum Oetaeos ostendit noctifer ignes.
  Sic certest; viden ut perniciter exiluere?
  Non temere exiluere, canent quod vincere par est.
    Hymen o Hymenaee, Hymen ades o Hymenaee!                    10

  Non facilis nobis, aequales, palma paratast,
  Adspicite, innuptae secum ut meditata requirunt.
  Non frustra meditantur, habent memorabile quod sit.
  Nec mirum, penitus quae tota mente laborent.
  Nos alio mentes, alio divisimus aures:                        15
  Iure igitur vincemur, amat victoria curam.
  Quare nunc animos saltem convertite vestros,
  Dicere iam incipient, iam respondere decebit.
    Hymen o Hymenaee, Hymen ades o Hymenaee!

  Hespere, qui caelo fertur crudelior ignis?                    20
  Qui natam possis conplexu avellere matris,
  Conplexu matris retinentem avellere natam
  Et iuveni ardenti castam donare puellam.
  Quid faciunt hostes capta crudelius urbe?
    Hymen o Hymenaee, Hymen ades o Hymenaee!                    25

  Hespere, qui caelo lucet iocundior ignis?
  Qui desponsa tua firmes conubia flamma,
  Quae pepigere viri, pepigerunt ante parentes
  Nec iunxere prius quam se tuus extulit ardor.
  Quid datur a divis felici optatius hora?                      30
    Hymen o Hymenaee, Hymen ades o Hymenaee!

      *    *    *    *
  Hesperus e nobis, aequales, abstulit unam
      *    *    *    *
    _Hymen o Hymenaee, Hymen ades o Hymenaee_!

      *    *    *    *
  Namque tuo adventu vigilat custodia semper.
  Nocte latent fures, quos idem saepe revertens,
  Hespere, mutato conprendis nomine Eous.                       35
  At libet innuptis ficto te carpere questu.
  Quid tum, si carpunt, tacita quem mente requirunt?
    Hymen o Hymenaee, Hymen ades o Hymenaee!

  Vt flos in saeptis secretus nascitur hortis,
  Ignotus pecori, nullo convolsus aratro,                       40
  Quem mulcent aurae, firmat sol, educat imber
      *    *    *    *
  Multi illum pueri, multae optavere puellae:
  Idem cum tenui carptus defloruit ungui,
  Nulli illum pueri, nullae optavere puellae:
  Sic virgo, dum intacta manet, dum cara suis est;              45
  Cum castum amisit polluto corpore florem,
  Nec pueris iocunda manet, nec cara puellis.
    Hymen o Hymenaee, Hymen ades o Hymenaee!

  Vt vidua in nudo vitis quae nascitur arvo
  Numquam se extollit, numquam mitem educat uvam,               50
  Sed tenerum prono deflectens pondere corpus
  Iam iam contingit summum radice flagellum;
  Hanc nulli agricolae, nulli coluere bubulci:
  At si forte eademst ulmo coniuncta marito,
  Multi illam agricolae, multi coluere bubulci:                 55
  Sic virgo dum intacta manet, dum inculta senescit;
  Cum par conubium maturo tempore adeptast,
  Cara viro magis et minus est invisa parenti.
    _Hymen o Hymenaee, Hymen ades o Hymenaee_!                 58b

  At tu ne pugna cum tali coniuge virgo.
  Non aequomst pugnare, pater cui tradidit ipse,                60
  Ipse pater cum matre, quibus parere necessest.
  Virginitas non tota tuast, ex parte parentumst,
  Tertia pars patrist, pars est data tertia matri,
  Tertia sola tuast: noli pugnare duobus,
  Qui genero sua iura simul cum dote dederunt.                  65
    Hymen o Hymenaee, Hymen ades o Hymenaee!





  Vesper is here, O youths, rise all; for Vesper Olympus
  Scales and in fine enfires what lights so long were expected!
  Time 'tis now to arise, now leave we tables rich laden,
  Now shall the Virgin come; now chaunt we the Hymenæus.
    Hymen O Hymenæus: Hymen here, O Hymenæus!                    5


  View ye the Youths, O Maids unwed? Then rise to withstand them:
  Doubtless the night-fraught Star displays his splendour Oetéän.
  Sooth 'tis so; d'ye sight how speedily sprang they to warfare?
  Nor for a naught up-sprang: they'll sing what need we to conquer.
    Hymen O Hymenæus: Hymen here, O Hymenæus!                   10


  Nowise easy the palm for us (Companions!) be proffer'd,
  Lo! now the maidens muse and meditate matter of forethought
  Nor meditate they in vain; they muse a humorous something.
  Yet naught wonder it is, their sprites be wholly in labour.
  We bear divided thought one way and hearing in other:         15
  Vanquish't by right we must be, since Victory loveth the heedful.
  Therefore at least d'ye turn your minds the task to consider,
  Soon shall begin their say whose countersay shall befit you.
    Hymen O Hymenæus: Hymen here, O Hymenæus!


  Hesperus! say what flame more cruel in Heaven be fanned?      20
  Thou who the girl perforce canst tear from a mother's embraces,
  Tear from a parent's clasp her child despite of her clinging
  And upon love-hot youth bestowest her chastest of maidenhoods!
  What shall the foeman deal more cruel to city becaptured?
    Hymen O Hymenæus, Hymen here, O Hymenæus!                   25


  Hesperus! say what flame more gladsome in Heavens be shining?
  Thou whose light makes sure long-pledged connubial promise
  Plighted erewhile by men and erstwhile plighted by parents.
  Yet to be ne'er fulfilled before thy fire's ardours have risen!
  What better boon can the gods bestow than hour so desirèd?    30
    Hymen O Hymenæus, Hymen here, O Hymenæus!


      *    *    *    *
  Hesperus! one of ourselves (Companions!) carried elsewhither
      *    *    *    *
    _Hymen O Hymenæus, Hymen here, O Hymenæus!_


      *    *    *    *
  For at thy coming in sight a guard is constantly watching.
  Hidden o'nights lurk thieves and these as oft as returnest,
  Hesper! thou seizest them with title changed to Eöus.         35
  Pleases the bevy unwed with feigned complaints to accuse thee.
  What if assail they whom their souls in secrecy cherish?
    Hymen O Hymenæus, Hymen here, O Hymenæus!


  E'en as a flow'ret born secluded in garden enclosèd,
  Unto the flock unknown and ne'er uptorn by the ploughshare,   40
  Soothed by the zephyrs and strengthened by suns and nourish't by showers
      *    *    *    *
  Loves her many a youth and longs for her many a maiden:
  Yet from her lissome stalk when cropt that flower deflowered,
  Loves her never a youth nor longs for her ever a maiden:
  Thus while the virgin be whole, such while she's the dearling of
      kinsfolk;  45
  Yet no sooner is lost her bloom from body polluted,
  Neither to youths she is joy, nor a dearling she to the maidens.
    Hymen O Hymenæus, Hymen here, O Hymenæus!


  E'en as an unmated vine which born in field of the barest
  Never upraises head nor breeds the mellowy grape-bunch,       50
  But under weight prone-bowed that tender body a-bending
  Makes she her root anon to touch her topmost of tendrils;
  Tends her never a hind nor tends her ever a herdsman:
  Yet if haply conjoinèd the same with elm as a husband,
  Tends her many a hind and tends her many a herdsman:          55
  Thus is the maid when whole, uncultured waxes she aged;
  But whenas union meet she wins her at ripest of seasons,
  More to her spouse she is dear and less she's irk to her parents.
    _Hymen O Hymenæus, Hymen here, O Hymenæus!_

_Youths and Damsels_.

  But do thou cease to resist (O Maid!) such bridegroom opposing,
  Right it is not to resist whereto consigned thee a father,
  Father and mother of thee unto whom obedience is owing.
  Not is that maidenhood all thine own, but partly thy parents!
  Owneth thy sire one third, one third is right of thy mother,
  Only the third is thine: stint thee to strive with the others,
  Who to the stranger son have yielded their dues with a dower!  65
    Hymen O Hymenæus: Hymen here, O Hymenæus!


Vesper is here, arise ye youths: Vesper at last has just borne aloft in the
heavens his long-looked-for light. Now 'tis time to arise, now to leave the
fattened tables, now comes the virgin, now is said the Hymenaeus. Hymen O
Hymenaeus, Hymen hither O Hymenaeus!


Discern ye, O unwedded girls, the youths? Arise in response: forsooth the
Star of Eve displays its Oetaean fires. Thus 'tis; see how fleetly have
they leapt forth? Nor without intent have they leapt forth, they will sing
what 'tis meet we surpass. Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen hither O Hymenaeus!


Nor easily is for us, O comrades, the palm prepared; see ye how they talk
together in deep thought. Nor in vain do they muse, they have what may be
worthy of memory. Nor be wonder: for inwardly toil they with whole of their
minds. Our minds one way, our ears another, we have divided: wherefore by
right are we conquered, for victory loveth solicitude. So now your minds at
the least turn ye hither, now their chant they begin, anon ye will have to
respond. Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen hither O Hymenaeus!


Hesperus! what crueler light is borne aloft in the heavens? Thou who canst
pluck the maid from her mother's enfolding, pluck from her mother's
enfolding the firm-clinging maid, and canst give the chaste girl to the
burning youngster. What more cruel could victors in vanquished city
contrive? Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen hither O Hymenaeus!


Hesperus! what more jocund light is borne aloft in the heavens? Thou who
dost confirm with thy flame the marriage betrothals which the men had
pledged, the parents had pledged of aforetime, nor may they be joined in
completion before thy flame is borne aloft. What can the gods give more
gladsome than that happy hour? Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen hither O Hymenaeus!


* * * * Hesperus from us, O comrades, has stolen one away * * * * _Hymen O
Hymenaeus, Hymen hither O Hymenaeus!_


* * * * For at thy advent a guard always keeps watch. Thieves lie in wait
by night, whom often on thy return, O Hesperus, thou hap'st upon, when with
thy changed name Eous. Yet it doth please the unwedded girls to carp at
thee with plaints fictitious. But what if they carp at that which in
close-shut mind they long for? Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen hither O Hymenaeus!


As grows the hidden flower in garden closed, to kine unknown, uprooted by
no ploughshare, whilst the winds caress it, the sun makes it sturdy, and
the shower gives it growth * * * * many a boy and many a girl longs for it:
this same when pluckt, deflowered from slender stalklet, never a boy and
never a girl doth long for it: so the virgin, while she stays untouched, so
long is she dear to her folk; when she hath lost her chaste flower from her
body profaned, nor to the boys stays she beauteous, nor is she dear to the
girls. Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen hither O Hymenaeus!


As the widowed vine which grows in naked field ne'er uplifts itself, ne'er
ripens a mellow grape, but bending prone 'neath the weight of its tender
body now and again its highmost bough touches with its root; this no
husbandmen, no herdsmen will foster: but if this same chance to be joined
with marital elm, it many husbandmen, many herdsmen will foster: so the
virgin, whilst she stays untouched, so long does she age, unfostered; but
when fitting union she obtain in meet time, dearer is she to her lord and
less of a trouble to parent. _Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen hither O Hymenaeus!_

 _Youths and Maidens_.

But struggle not 'gainst such a mate, O virgin. 'Tis improper to struggle,
thou whose father hath handed thee o'er, that father together with thy
mother to whom obedience is needed. Thy maidenhead is not wholly thine, in
part 'tis thy parents': a third part is thy father's, a third part is given
to thy mother, a third alone is thine: be unwilling to struggle against
two, who to their son-in-law their rights together with dowry have given.
Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen hither O Hymenaeus!


  Super alta vectus Attis celeri rate maria
  Phrygium ut nemus citato cupide pede tetigit
  Adiitque opaca, silvis redimita loca deae,
  Stimulatus ibi furenti rabie, vagus animis,
  Devolsit ilei acuto sibi pondera silice.                       5
  Itaque ut relicta sensit sibi membra sine viro,
  Etiam recente terrae sola sanguine maculans
  Niveis citata cepit manibus leve typanum,
  Typanum, tuom Cybebe, tua, mater, initia,
  Quatiensque terga taurei teneris cava digitis                 10
  Canere haec suis adortast tremebunda comitibus.
  'Agite ite ad alta, Gallae, Cybeles nemora simul,
  Simul ite, Dindymenae dominae vaga pecora,
  Aliena quae petentes velut exules loca
  Sectam meam executae duce me mihi comites                     15
  Rabidum salum tulistis truculentaque pelage
  Et corpus evirastis Veneris nimio odio,
  Hilarate erae citatis erroribus animum.
  Mora tarda mente cedat: simul ite, sequimini
  Phrygiam ad domum Cybebes, Phrygia ad nemora deae,            20
  Vbi cymbalum sonat vox, ubi tympana reboant,
  Tibicen ubi canit Phryx curvo grave calamo,
  Vbi capita Maenades vi iaciunt ederigerae,
  Vbi sacra sancta acutis ululatibus agitant,
  Vbi suevit illa divae volitare vaga cohors:                   25
  Quo nos decet citatis celerare tripudiis.'
  Simul haec comitibus Attis cecinit notha mulier,
  Thiasus repente linguis trepidantibus ululat,
  Leve tympanum remugit, cava cymbala recrepant,
  Viridem citus adit Idam properante pede chorus.               30
  Furibunda simul anhelans vaga vadit, animam agens,
  Comitata tympano Attis per opaca nemora dux,
  Veluti iuvenca vitans onus indomita iugi:
  Rapidae ducem sequuntur Gallae properipedem.
  Itaque ut domum Cybebes tetigere lassulae,                    35
  Nimio e labore somnum capiunt sine Cerere.
  Piger his labante langore oculos sopor operit:
  Abit in quiete molli rabidus furor animi.
  Sed ubi oris aurei Sol radiantibus oculis
  Lustravit aethera album, sola dura, mare ferum,               40
  Pepulitque noctis umbras vegetis sonipedibus,
  Ibi Somnus excitam Attin fugiens citus abiit:
  Trepidante eum recepit dea Pasithea sinu.
  Ita de quiete molli rapida sine rabie
  Simul ipsa pectore Attis sua facta recoluit,                  45
  Liquidaque mente vidit sine queis ubique foret,
  Animo aestuante rusum reditum ad vada tetulit.
  Ibi maria vasta visens lacrimantibus oculis,
  Patriam allocuta maestast ita voce miseriter.
  'Patria o mei creatrix, patria o mea genetrix,                50
  Ego quam miser relinquens, dominos ut erifugae
  Famuli solent, ad Idae tetuli nemora pedem,
  Vt aput nivem et ferarum gelida stabula forem
  Et earum operta adirem furibunda latibula?
  Vbinam aut quibus locis te positam, patria, reor?             55
  Cupit ipsa pupula ad te sibi dirigere aciem,
  Rabie fera carens dum breve tempus animus est.
  Egone a mea remota haec ferar in nemora domo?
  Patria, bonis, amicis, genitoribus abero?
  Abero foro, palaestra, stadio et guminasiis?                  60
  Miser a miser, querendumst etiam atque etiam, anime.
  Quod enim genus figuraest, ego non quod habuerim?
  Ego mulier, ego adolescens, ego ephebus, ego puer,
  Ego guminasi fui flos, ego eram decus olei:
  Mihi ianuae frequentes, mihi limina tepida,                   65
  Mihi floridis corollis redimita domus erat,
  Linquendum ubi esset orto mihi sole cubiculum.
  Ego nunc deum ministra et Cybeles famula ferar?
  Ego Maenas, ego mei pars, ego vir sterilis ero?
  Ego viridis algida Idae nive amicta loca colam?               70
  Ego vitam agam sub altis Phrygiae columinibus,
  Vbi cerva silvicultrix, ubi aper nemorivagus?
  Iam iam dolet quod egi, iam iamque paenitet.'
  Roseis ut huic labellis sonitus celer abiit,
  Geminas deorum ad aures nova nuntia referens,                 75
  Ibi iuncta iuga resolvens Cybele leonibus
  Laevumque pecoris hostem stimulans ita loquitur.
  'Agedum' inquit 'age ferox i, fac ut hunc furor _agitet_,
  Fac uti furoris ictu reditum in nemora ferat,
  Mea libere nimis qui fugere imperia cupit.                    80
  Age caede terga cauda, tua verbera patere,
  Fac cuncta mugienti fremitu loca retonent,
  Rutilam ferox torosa cervice quate iubam.'
  Ait haec minax Cybebe religatque iuga manu.
  Ferus ipse sese adhortans rapidum incitat animo,              85
  Vadit, fremit, refringit virgulta pede vago.
  At ubi umida albicantis loca litoris adiit,
  Teneramque vidit Attin prope marmora pelagi,
  Facit impetum: illa demens fugit in nemora fera:
  Ibi semper omne vitae spatium famula fuit.                    90
  Dea magna, dea Cybebe, Didymei dea domina,
  Procul a mea tuos sit furor omnis, era, domo:
  Alios age incitatos, alios age rabidos.



  O'er high deep seas in speedy ship his voyage Atys sped
  Until he trod the Phrygian grove with hurried eager tread
  And as the gloomy tree-shorn stead, the she-god's home, he sought
  There sorely stung with fiery ire and madman's vaguing thought,
  Share he with sharpened flint the freight wherewith his form was fraught.
  Then as the she-he sensèd limbs were void of manly strain
  And sighted freshly shed a-ground spot of ensanguined stain,
  Snatched she the timbrel's legier load with hands as snowdrops white,
  Thy timbrel, Mother Cybebé, the firstings of thy rite,
  And as her tender finger-tips on bull-back hollow rang        10
  She rose a-grieving and her song to listening comrades sang.
  "Up Gallæ, hie together, haste for Cybebe's deep grove,
  Hie to the Dindyménean dame, ye flocks that love to rove;
  The which affecting stranger steads as bound in exile's brunt
  My sect pursuing led by me have nerved you to confront        15
  The raging surge of salty sea and ocean's tyrant hand
  As your hate of Venus' hest your manly forms unmann'd,
  Gladden your souls, ye mistresses, with sense of error bann'd.
  Drive from your spirits dull delay, together follow ye
  To hold of Phrygian goddess, home of Phrygian Cybebe,         20
  Where loud the cymbal's voice resounds with timbrel-echoes blending,
  And where the Phrygian piper drones grave bass from reed a-bending,
  Where toss their ivy-circled heads with might the Mænades
  Where ply mid shrilly lullilooes the holiest mysteries,
  Where to fly here and there be wont the she-god's vaguing train,  25
  Thither behoves us lead the dance in quick-step hasty strain."
  Soon as had Atys (bastard-she) this lay to comrades sung
  The Chorus sudden lulliloos with quivering, quavering tongue,
  Again the nimble timbrel groans, the scooped-out cymbals clash,
  And up green Ida flits the Choir, with footsteps hurrying rash.  30
  Then Atys frantic, panting, raves, a-wandering, lost, insane,
  And leads with timbrel hent and treads the shades where shadows rain,
  Like heifer spurning load of yoke in yet unbroken pride;
  And the swift Gallæ follow fain their first and fleetfoot guide.
  But when the home of Cybebe they make with toil out-worn      35
  O'er much, they lay them down to sleep and gifts of Ceres scorn;
  Till heavy slumbers seal their eyelids langourous, drooping lowly,
  And raving phrenzy flies each brain departing softly, slowly.
  But when Dan Sol with radiant eyes that fire his face of gold
  Surveyed white aether and solid soil and waters uncontrol'd,  40
  And chased with steeds sonorous-hooved the shades of lingering night,
  Then sleep from waking Atys fled fleeting with sudden flight,
  By Nymph Pásithae welcomèd to palpitating breast.
  Thus when his phrenzy raging rash was soothed to gentlest rest,
  Atys revolved deeds lately done, as thought from breast unfolding,  45
  And what he'd lost and what he was with lucid sprite beholding,
  To shallows led by surging soul again the way 'gan take.
  There casting glance of weeping eyes where vasty billows brake,
  Sad-voiced in pitifullest lay his native land bespake.
  "Country of me, Creatress mine, O born to thee and bred,      50
  By hapless me abandoned as by thrall from lordling fled,
  When me to Ida's groves and glades these vaguing footsteps bore
  To tarry 'mid the snows and where lurk beasts in antres frore
  And seek the deeply hidden lairs where furious ferals meet!
  Where, Country! whither placed must I now hold thy site and seat?  55
  Lief would these balls of eyes direct to thee their line of sight,
  Which for a while, a little while, would free me from despite.
  Must I for ever roam these groves from house and home afar?
  Of country, parents, kith and kin (life's boon) myself debar?
  Fly Forum, fly Palestra, fly the Stadium, the Gymnase?        60
  Wretch, ah poor wretch, I'm doomed (my soul!) to mourn throughout my
  For what of form or figure is, which I failed to enjoy?
  I full-grown man, I blooming youth, I stripling, I a boy,
  I of Gymnasium erst the bloom, I too of oil the pride:
  Warm was my threshold, ever stood my gateways opening wide,   65
  My house was ever garlanded and hung with flowery freight,
  And couch to quit with rising sun, has ever been my fate:
  Now must I Cybebe's she-slave, priestess of gods, be hight?
  I Mænad I, mere bit of self, I neutral barren wight?
  I spend my life-tide couch't beneath high-towering Phrygian peaks?  70
  I dwell on Ida's verdant slopes mottled with snowy streaks,
  Where homes the forest-haunting doe, where roams the wildling boar?
  Now, now I rue my deed foredone, now, now it irks me sore!"
  Whenas from out those roseate lips these accents rapid flew,
  Bore them to ears divine consigned a Nuncio true and new;     75
  Then Cybebe her lions twain disjoining from their yoke
  The left-hand enemy of the herds a-goading thus bespoke:--
  "Up feral fell! up, hie with him, see rage his footsteps urge,
  See that his fury smite him till he seek the forest verge,
  He who with over-freedom fain would fly mine empery.          80
  Go, slash thy flank with lashing tail and sense the strokes of thee,
  Make the whole mountain to thy roar sound and resound again,
  And fiercely toss thy brawny neck that bears the tawny mane!"
  So quoth an-angered Cybebe, and yoke with hand untied:
  The feral rose in fiery wrath and self-inciting hied,         85
  A-charging, roaring through the brake with breaking paws he tore.
  But when he reached the humid sands where surges cream the shore,
  Spying soft Atys lingering near the marbled pave of sea
  He springs: the terror-madded wretch back to the wood doth flee,
  Where for the remnant of her days a bondmaid's life led she.  90
  Great Goddess, Goddess Cybebe, Dindymus dame divine,
  Far from my house and home thy wrath and wrack, dread mistress mine:
  Goad others on with Fury's goad, others to Ire consign!

Over the vast main borne by swift-sailing ship, Attis, as with hasty
hurried foot he reached the Phrygian wood and gained the tree-girt gloomy
sanctuary of the Goddess, there roused by rabid rage and mind astray, with
sharp-edged flint downwards wards dashed his burden of virility. Then as he
felt his limbs were left without their manhood, and the fresh-spilt blood
staining the soil, with bloodless hand she hastily hent a tambour light to
hold, taborine thine, O Cybebe, thine initiate rite, and with feeble
fingers beating the hollowed bullock's back, she rose up quivering thus to
chant to her companions.

"Haste ye together, she-priests, to Cybebe's dense woods, together haste,
ye vagrant herd of the dame Dindymene, ye who inclining towards strange
places as exiles, following in my footsteps, led by me, comrades, ye who
have faced the ravening sea and truculent main, and have castrated your
bodies in your utmost hate of Venus, make glad our mistress speedily with
your minds' mad wanderings. Let dull delay depart from your thoughts,
together haste ye, follow to the Phrygian home of Cybebe, to the Phrygian
woods of the Goddess, where sounds the cymbal's voice, where the tambour
resounds, where the Phrygian flautist pipes deep notes on the curved reed,
where the ivy-clad Maenades furiously toss their heads, where they enact
their sacred orgies with shrill-sounding ululations, where that wandering
band of the Goddess is wont to flit about: thither 'tis meet to hasten with
hurried mystic dance."

When Attis, spurious woman, had thus chanted to her comity, the chorus
straightway shrills with trembling tongues, the light tambour booms, the
concave cymbals clang, and the troop swiftly hastes with rapid feet to
verdurous Ida. Then raging wildly, breathless, wandering, with brain
distraught, hurrieth Attis with her tambour, their leader through dense
woods, like an untamed heifer shunning the burden of the yoke: and the
swift Gallae press behind their speedy-footed leader. So when the home of
Cybebe they reach, wearied out with excess of toil and lack of food they
fall in slumber. Sluggish sleep shrouds their eyes drooping with faintness,
and raging fury leaves their minds to quiet ease.

But when the sun with radiant eyes from face of gold glanced o'er the white
heavens, the firm soil, and the savage sea, and drave away the glooms of
night with his brisk and clamorous team, then sleep fast-flying quickly
sped away from wakening Attis, and goddess Pasithea received Somnus in her
panting bosom. Then when from quiet rest torn, her delirium over, Attis at
once recalled to mind her deed, and with lucid thought saw what she had
lost, and where she stood, with heaving heart she backwards traced her
steps to the landing-place. There, gazing o'er the vast main with
tear-filled eyes, with saddened voice in tristful soliloquy thus did she
lament her land:

"Mother-land, O my creatress, mother-land, O my begetter, which full sadly
I'm forsaking, as runaway serfs are wont from their lords, to the woods of
Ida I have hasted on foot, to stay 'mongst snow and icy dens of ferals, and
to wander through the hidden lurking-places of ferocious beasts. Where, or
in what part, O mother-land, may I imagine that thou art? My very eyeball
craves to fix its glance towards thee, whilst for a brief space my mind is
freed from wild ravings. And must I wander o'er these woods far from mine
home? From country, goods, friends, and parents, must I be parted? Leave
the forum, the palaestra, the race-course, and gymnasium? Wretched,
wretched soul, 'tis thine to grieve for ever and for aye. For whatso shape
is there, whose kind I have not worn? I (now a woman), I a man, a
stripling, and a lad; I was the gymnasium's flower, I was the pride of the
oiled wrestlers: my gates, my friendly threshold, were crowded, my home was
decked with floral coronals, when I was wont to leave my couch at sunrise.
Now shall I live a ministrant of gods and slave to Cybebe? I a Maenad, I a
part of me, I a sterile trunk! Must I range o'er the snow-clad spots of
verdurous Ida, and wear out my life 'neath lofty Phrygian peaks, where stay
the sylvan-seeking stag and woodland-wandering boar? Now, now, I grieve the
deed I've done; now, now, do I repent!"

As the swift sound left those rosy lips, borne by new messenger to gods'
twinned ears, Cybebe, unloosing her lions from their joined yoke, and
goading the left-hand foe of the herd, thus doth speak: "Come," she says,
"to work, thou fierce one, cause a madness urge him on, let a fury prick
him onwards till he return through our woods, he who over-rashly seeks to
fly from my empire. On! thrash thy flanks with thy tail, endure thy
strokes; make the whole place re-echo with roar of thy bellowings; wildly
toss thy tawny mane about thy nervous neck." Thus ireful Cybebe spoke and
loosed the yoke with her hand. The monster, self-exciting, to rapid wrath
his heart doth spur, he rushes, he roars, he bursts through the brake with
heedless tread. But when he gained the humid verge of the foam-flecked
shore, and spied the womanish Attis near the opal sea, he made a bound: the
witless wretch fled into the wild wold: there throughout the space of her
whole life a bondsmaid did she stay. Great Goddess, Goddess Cybebe, Goddess
Dame of Dindymus, far from my home may all thine anger be, O mistress: urge
others to such actions, to madness others hound.


  Peliaco quondam prognatae vertice pinus
  Dicuntur liquidas Neptuni nasse per undas
  Phasidos ad fluctus et fines Aeetaeos,
  Cum lecti iuvenes, Argivae robora pubis,
  Auratam optantes Colchis avertere pellem                       5
  Ausi sunt vada salsa cita decurrere puppi,
  Caerula verrentes abiegnis aequora palmis.
  Diva quibus retinens in summis urbibus arces
  Ipsa levi fecit volitantem flamine currum,
  Pinea coniungens inflexae texta carinae.                      10
  Illa rudem cursu prima imbuit Amphitriten.
  Quae simulac rostro ventosum proscidit aequor,
  Tortaque remigio spumis incanduit unda,
  Emersere freti canenti e gurgite vultus
  Aequoreae monstrum Nereides admirantes.                       15
  Atque illic alma viderunt luce marinas
  Mortales oculi nudato corpore Nymphas
  Nutricum tenus extantes e gurgite cano.
  Tum Thetidis Peleus incensus fertur amore,
  Tum Thetis humanos non despexit hymenaeos,                    20
  Tum Thetidi pater ipse iugandum Pelea sanxit.
  O nimis optato saeclorum tempore nati
  Heroes, salvete, deum genus, o bona matrum
  Progenies, salvete iterum _placidique favete_.
  Vos ego saepe meo, vos carmine conpellabo,
  Teque adeo eximie taedis felicibus aucte                      25
  Thessaliae columen Peleu, cui Iuppiter ipse,
  Ipse suos divom genitor concessit amores.
  Tene Thetis tenuit pulcherrima Nereine?
  Tene suam Tethys concessit ducere neptem,
  Oceanusque, mari totum qui amplectitur orbem?                 30
  Quoi simul optatae finito tempore luces
  Advenere, domum conventu tota frequentat
  Thessalia, oppletur laetanti regia coetu:
  Dona ferunt prae se, declarant gaudia voltu.
  Deseritur Cieros, linquunt Phthiotica tempe,                  35
  Crannonisque domos ac moenia Larisaea,
  Pharsalum coeunt, Pharsalia tecta frequentant.
  Rura colit nemo, mollescunt colla iuvencis,
  Non humilis curvis purgatur vinea rastris,
  Non falx attenuat frondatorum arboris umbram,                 41
  Non glaebam prono convellit vomere taurus,                    40
  Squalida desertis rubigo infertur aratris.
  Ipsius at sedes, quacumque opulenta recessit
  Regia, fulgenti splendent auro atque argento.
  Candet ebur soliis, collucent pocula mensae,                  45
  Tota domus gaudet regali splendida gaza.
  Pulvinar vero divae geniale locatur
  Sedibus in mediis, Indo quod dente politum
  Tincta tegit roseo conchyli purpura fuco.
    Haec vestis priscis hominum variata figuris                 50
  Heroum mira virtutes indicat arte.
  Namque fluentisono prospectans litore Diae
  Thesea cedentem celeri cum classe tuetur
  Indomitos in corde gerens Ariadna furores,
  Necdum etiam sese quae visit visere credit,                   55
  Vt pote fallaci quae tum primum excita somno
  Desertam in sola miseram se cernat arena.
  Inmemor at iuvenis fugiens pellit vada remis,
  Inrita ventosae linquens promissa procellae.
  Quem procul ex alga maestis Minois ocellis,                   60
  Saxea ut effigies bacchantis, prospicit, eheu,
  Prospicit et magnis curarum fluctuat undis,
  Non flavo retinens subtilem vertice mitram,
  Non contecta levi + velatum pectus amictu,
  Non tereti strophio lactantes vincta papillas,                65
  Omnia quae toto delapsa e corpore passim
  Ipsius ante pedes fluctus salis adludebant.
  Set neque tum mitrae neque tum fluitantis amictus
  Illa vicem curans toto ex te pectore, Theseu,
  Toto animo, tota pendebat perdita mente.                      70
  A misera, adsiduis quam luctibus externavit
  Spinosas Erycina serens in pectore curas
  Illa tempestate, ferox quom robore Theseus
  Egressus curvis e litoribus Piraei
  Attigit iniusti regis Gortynia tecta.                         75
  Nam perhibent olim crudeli peste coactam
  Androgeoneae poenas exolvere caedis
  Electos iuvenes simul et decus innuptarum
  Cecropiam solitam esse dapem dare Minotauro.
  Quis angusta malis cum moenia vexarentur,                     80
  Ipse suom Theseus pro caris corpus Athenis
  Proicere optavit potius quam talia Cretam
  Funera Cecropiae nec funera portarentur,
  Atque ita nave levi nitens ac lenibus auris
  Magnanimum ad Minoa venit sedesque superbas.                  85
  Hunc simulac cupido conspexit lumine virgo
  Regia, quam suavis expirans castus odores
  Lectulus in molli conplexu matris alebat,
  Quales Eurotae progignunt flumina myrtus
  Aurave distinctos educit verna colores,                       90
  Non prius ex illo flagrantia declinavit
  Lumina, quam cuncto concepit corpore flammam
  Funditus atque imis exarsit tota medullis.
  Heu misere exagitans inmiti corde furores
  Sancte puer, curis hominum qui gaudia misces,                 95
  Quaeque regis Golgos quaeque Idalium frondosum,
  Qualibus incensam iactastis mente puellam
  Fluctibus in flavo saepe hospite suspirantem!
  Quantos illa tulit languenti corde timores!
  Quam tum saepe magis + fulgore expalluit auri!               100
  Cum saevom cupiens contra contendere monstrum
  Aut mortem oppeteret Theseus aut praemia laudis.
  Non ingrata tamen frustra munuscula divis
  Promittens tacito succepit vota labello.
  Nam velut in summo quatientem brachia Tauro                  105
  Quercum aut conigeram sudanti cortice pinum
  Indomitum turben contorquens flamine robur
  Eruit (illa procul radicitus exturbata
  Prona cadit, late quast impetus obvia frangens),
  Sic domito saevom prostravit corpore Theseus                 110
  Nequiquam vanis iactantem cornua ventis.
  Inde pedem sospes multa cum laude reflexit
  Errabunda regens tenui vestigia filo,
  Ne labyrintheis e flexibus egredientem
  Tecti frustraretur inobservabilis error.                     115
  Sed quid ego a primo digressus carmine plura
  Conmemorem, ut linquens genitoris filia voltum,
  Vt consanguineae conplexum, ut denique matris,
  Quae misera in gnata deperdita laetabatur,
  Omnibus his Thesei dulcem praeoptarit amorem,                120
  Aut ut vecta rati spumosa ad litora Diae
  _Venerit_, aut ut eam devinctam lumina somno
  Liquerit inmemori discedens pectore coniunx?
  Saepe illam perhibent ardenti corde furentem
  Clarisonas imo fudisse e pectore voces,                      125
  Ac tum praeruptos tristem conscendere montes,
  Vnde aciem in pelagi vastos protenderet aestus,
  Tum tremuli salis adversas procurrere in undas
  Mollia nudatae tollentem tegmina surae,
  Atque haec extremis maestam dixisse querellis,               130
  Frigidulos udo singultus ore cientem.
    'Sicine me patriis avectam, perfide, ab oris,
  Perfide, deserto liquisti in litore, Theseu?
  Sicine discedens neglecto numine divom
  Inmemor a, devota domum periuria portas?                     135
  Nullane res potuit crudelis flectere mentis
  Consilium? tibi nulla fuit clementia praesto,
  Inmite ut nostri vellet miserescere pectus?
  At non haec quondam nobis promissa dedisti,
  Vane: mihi non haec miserae sperare iubebas,                 140
  Sed conubia laeta, sed optatos hymenaeos:
  Quae cuncta aerii discerpunt irrita venti.
  Iam iam nulla viro iuranti femina credat,
  Nulla viri speret sermones esse fideles;
  Quis dum aliquid cupiens animus praegestit apisci,           145
  Nil metuunt iurare, nihil promittere parcunt:
  Sed simulac cupidae mentis satiata libidost,
  Dicta nihil meminere, nihil periuria curant.
  Certe ego te in medio versantem turbine leti
  Eripui, et potius germanum amittere crevi,                   150
  Quam tibi fallaci supremo in tempore dessem.
  Pro quo dilaceranda feris dabor alitibusque
  Praeda, neque iniecta tumulabor mortua terra.
  Quaenam te genuit sola sub rupe leaena?
  Quod mare conceptum spumantibus expuit undis?                155
  Quae Syrtis, quae Scylla rapax, quae vasta Charybdis?
  Talia qui reddis pro dulci praemia vita.
  Si tibi non cordi fuerant conubia nostra,
  Saeva quod horrebas prisci praecepta parentis,
  At tamen in vostras potuisti ducere sedes,                   160
  Quae tibi iocundo famularer serva labore,
  Candida permulcens liquidis vestigia lymphis
  Purpureave tuum consternens veste cubile.
  Sed quid ego ignaris nequiquam conqueror auris,
  Externata malo, quae nullis sensibus auctae                  165
  Nec missas audire queunt nec reddere voces?
  Ille autem prope iam mediis versatur in undis,
  Nec quisquam adparet vacua mortalis in alga.
  Sic nimis insultans extremo tempore saeva
  Fors etiam nostris invidit questibus aures.                  170
  Iuppiter omnipotens, utinam ne tempore primo
  Gnosia Cecropiae tetigissent litora puppes,
  Indomito nec dira ferens stipendia tauro
  Perfidus in Creta religasset navita funem,
  Nec malus hic celans dulci crudelia forma                    175
  Consilia in nostris requiesset sedibus hospes!
  Nam quo me referam? quali spe perdita nitar?
  Idomeneosne petam montes? a, gurgite lato
  Discernens ponti truculentum ubi dividit aequor?
  An patris auxilium sperem? quemne ipsa reliqui,              180
  Respersum iuvenem fraterna caede secuta?
  Coniugis an fido consoler memet amore,
  Quine fugit lentos incurvans gurgite remos?
  Praeterea nullo litus, sola insula, tecto,
  Nec patet egressus pelagi cingentibus undis:                 185
  Nulla fugae ratio, nulla spes: omnia muta,
  Omnia sunt deserta, ostentant omnia letum.
  Non tamen ante mihi languescent lumina morte,
  Nec prius a fesso secedent corpore sensus,
  Quam iustam a divis exposcam prodita multam,                 190
  Caelestumque fidem postrema conprecer hora.
  Quare facta virum multantes vindice poena,
  Eumenides, quibus anguino redimita capillo
  Frons expirantis praeportat pectoris iras,
  Huc huc adventate, meas audite querellas,                    195
  Quas ego vae! misera extremis proferre medullis
  Cogor inops, ardens, amenti caeca furore.
  Quae quoniam verae nascuntur pectore ab imo,
  Vos nolite pati nostrum vanescere luctum,
  Sed quali solam Theseus me mente reliquit,                   200
  Tali mente, deae, funestet seque suosque.'
    Has postquam maesto profudit pectore voces,
  Supplicium saevis exposcens anxia factis,
  Adnuit invicto caelestum numine rector,
  Quo motu tellus atque horrida contremuerunt                  205
  Aequora concussitque micantia sidera mundus.
  Ipse autem caeca mentem caligine Theseus
  Consitus oblito dimisit pectore cuncta,
  Quae mandata prius constanti mente tenebat,
  Dulcia nec maesto sustollens signa parenti                   210
  Sospitem Erechtheum se ostendit visere portum.
  Namque ferunt olim, castae cum moenia divae
  Linquentem gnatum ventis concrederet Aegeus,
  Talia conplexum iuveni mandata dedisse.
  'Gnate, mihi longa iocundior unice vita,                     215
  Reddite in extrema nuper mihi fine senectae,                 217
  Gnate, ego quem in dubios cogor dimittere casus,             216
  Quandoquidem fortuna mea ac tua fervida virtus
  Eripit invito mihi te, cui languida nondum
  Lumina sunt gnati cara saturata figura:                      220
  Non ego te gaudens laetanti pectore mittam,
  Nec te ferre sinam fortunae signa secundae,
  Sed primum multas expromam mente querellas,
  Canitiem terra atque infuso pulvere foedans,
  Inde infecta vago suspendam lintea malo,                     225
  Nostros ut luctus nostraeque incendia mentis
  Carbasus obscurata decet ferrugine Hibera.
  Quod tibi si sancti concesserit incola Itoni,
  Quae nostrum genus ac sedes defendere Erechthei
  Adnuit, ut tauri respergas sanguine dextram,                 230
  Tum vero facito ut memori tibi condita corde
  Haec vigeant mandata, nec ulla oblitteret aetas,
  Vt simulac nostros invisent lumina colles,
  Funestam antennae deponant undique vestem,
  Candidaque intorti sustollant vela rudentes,                 235
  Lucida qua splendent summi carchesia mali,                  235b
  Quam primum cernens ut laeta gaudia mente
  Agnoscam, cum te reducem aetas prospera sistet.'
  Haec mandata prius constanti mente tenentem
  Thesea ceu pulsae ventorum flamine nubes
  Aerium nivei montis liquere cacumen.                         240
  At pater, ut summa prospectum ex arce petebat,
  Anxia in adsiduos absumens lumina fletus,
  Cum primum infecti conspexit lintea veli,
  Praecipitem sese scopulorum e vertice iecit,
  Amissum credens inmiti Thesea fato.                          245
  Sic funesta domus ingressus tecta paterna
  Morte ferox Theseus qualem Minoidi luctum
  Obtulerat mente inmemori talem ipse recepit.
  Quae tamen aspectans cedentem maesta carinam
  Multiplices animo volvebat saucia curas.                     250
  At parte ex alia florens volitabat Iacchus
  Cum thiaso Satyrorum et Nysigenis Silenis,
  Te quaerens, Ariadna, tuoque incensus amore.
      *    *    *    *
  Quae tum alacres passim lymphata mente furebant
  Euhoe bacchantes, euhoe capita inflectentes.                 255
  Harum pars tecta quatiebant cuspide thyrsos,
  Pars e divolso iactabant membra iuvenco,
  Pars sese tortis serpentibus incingebant,
  Pars obscura cavis celebrabant orgia cistis,
  Orgia, quae frustra cupiunt audire profani,                  260
  Plangebant aliae proceris tympana palmis
  Aut tereti tenues tinnitus aere ciebant,
  Multis raucisonos efflabant cornua bombos
  Barbaraque horribili stridebat tibia cantu.
    Talibus amplifice vestis decorata figuris                  265
  Pulvinar conplexa suo velabat amictu.
  Quae postquam cupide spectando Thessala pubes
  Expletast, sanctis coepit decedere divis.
  Hic, qualis flatu placidum mare matutino
  Horrificans Zephyrus proclivas incitat undas                 270
  Aurora exoriente vagi sub limina Solis,
  Quae tarde primum clementi flamine pulsae
  Procedunt (leni resonant plangore cachinni),
  Post vento crescente magis magis increbescunt
  Purpureaque procul nantes a luce refulgent,                  275
  Sic ibi vestibuli linquentes regia tecta
  Ad se quisque vago passim pede discedebant.
  Quorum post abitum princeps e vertice Pelei
  Advenit Chiron portans silvestria dona:
  Nam quoscumque ferunt campi, quos Thessala magnis            280
  Montibus ora creat, quos propter fluminis undas
  Aura parit flores tepidi fecunda Favoni,
  Hos indistinctis plexos tulit ipse corollis,
  Quo permulsa domus iocundo risit odore.
  Confestim Penios adest, viridantia Tempe,                    285
  Tempe, quae silvae cingunt super inpendentes,
  + Minosim linquens crebris celebranda choreis,
  Non vacuos: namque ille tulit radicitus altas
  Fagos ac recto proceras stipite laurus,
  Non sine nutanti platano lentaque sorore                     290
  Flammati Phaethontis et aeria cupressu.
  Haec circum sedes late contexta locavit,
  Vestibulum ut molli velatum fronde vireret.
  Post hunc consequitur sollerti corde Prometheus,
  Extenuata gerens veteris vestigia poenae,                    295
  Quam quondam scythicis restrictus membra catena
  Persolvit pendens e verticibus praeruptis.
  Inde pater divom sancta cum coniuge natisque
  Advenit caelo, te solum, Phoebe, relinquens
  Vnigenamque simul cultricem montibus Idri:                   300
  Pelea nam tecum pariter soror aspernatast
  Nec Thetidis taedas voluit celebrare iugalis,
  Qui postquam niveis flexerunt sedibus artus,
  Large multiplici constructae sunt dape mensae,
  Cum interea infirmo quatientes corpora motu                  305
  Veridicos Parcae coeperunt edere cantus.
  His corpus tremulum conplectens undique vestis
  Candida purpurea talos incinxerat ora,
  Annoso niveae residebant vertice vittae,
  Aeternumque manus carpebant rite laborem.                    310
  Laeva colum molli lana retinebat amictum,
  Dextera tum leviter deducens fila supinis
  Formabat digitis, tum prono in pollice torquens
  Libratum tereti versabat turbine fusum,
  Atque ita decerpens aequabat semper opus dens,               315
  Laneaque aridulis haerebant morsa labellis,
  Quae prius in levi fuerant extantia filo:
  Ante pedes autem candentis mollia lanae
  Vellera virgati custodibant calathisci.
  Haec tum clarisona pectentes vellera voce                    320
  Talia divino fuderunt carmine fata,
  Carmine, perfidiae quod post nulla arguet aetas.

  O decus eximium magnis virtutibus augens,
  Emathiae tutamen opis, clarissime nato,
  Accipe, quod laeta tibi pandunt luce sorores,                325
  Veridicum oraclum. sed vos, quae fata sequuntur,
    Currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.

  Adveniet tibi iam portans optata maritis
  Hesperus, adveniet fausto cum sidere coniunx,
  Quae tibi flexanimo mentem perfundat amore                   330
  Languidulosque paret tecum coniungere somnos,
  Levia substernens robusto brachia collo.
    Currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.

  Nulla domus tales umquam conexit amores,
  Nullus amor tali coniunxit foedere amantes,                  335
  Qualis adest Thetidi, qualis concordia Peleo.
    Currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.

  Nascetur vobis expers terroris Achilles,
  Hostibus haud tergo, sed forti pectore notus,
  Quae persaepe vago victor certamine cursus                   340
  Flammea praevertet celeris vestigia cervae.
    Currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.

  Non illi quisquam bello se conferet heros,
  Cum Phrygii Teucro manabunt sanguine + tenen,
  Troicaque obsidens longinquo moenia bello                    345
  Periuri Pelopis vastabit tertius heres.
    Currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.

  Illius egregias virtutes claraque facta
  Saepe fatebuntur gnatorum in funere matres,
  Cum in cinerem canos solvent a vertice crines                350
  Putridaque infirmis variabunt pectora palmis.
    Currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.

  Namque velut densas praecerpens cultor aristas
  Sole sub ardenti flaventia demetit arva,
  Troiugenum infesto prosternet corpora ferro.                 355
    Currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.

  Testis erit magnis virtutibus unda Scamandri,
  Quae passim rapido diffunditur Hellesponto,
  Cuius iter caesis angustans corporum acervis
  Alta tepefaciet permixta flumina caede.                      360
    Currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.

  Denique testis erit morti quoque reddita praeda,
  Cum terrae ex celso coacervatum aggere bustum
  Excipiet niveos percussae virginis artus.
    Currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.                365

  Nam simul ac fessis dederit fors copiam Achivis
  Vrbis Dardaniae Neptunia solvere vincla,
  Alta Polyxenia madefient caede sepulcra,
  Quae, velut ancipiti succumbens victima ferro,
  Proiciet truncum submisso poplite corpus.                    370
    Currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.

  Quare agite optatos animi coniungite amores.
  Accipiat coniunx felici foedere divam,
  Dedatur cupido iandudum nupta marito.
    Currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.                375

  Non illam nutrix orienti luce revisens
  Hesterno collum poterit circumdare filo,
  [Currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi]
  Anxia nec mater discordis maesta puellae
  Secubitu caros mittet sperare nepotes.                       380
    Currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.

  Talia praefantes quondam felicia Pelei
  Carmina divino cecinerunt pectore Parcae.
  Praesentes namque ante domos invisere castas
  Heroum et sese mortali ostendere coetu                       385
  Caelicolae nondum spreta pietate solebant.
  Saepe pater divom templo in fulgente residens,
  Annua cum festis venissent sacra diebus,
  Conspexit terra centum procumbere tauros.
  Saepe vagus Liber Parnasi vertice summo                      390
  Thyiadas effusis euhantes crinibus egit.
      *    *    *    *
  Cum Delphi tota certatim ex urbe ruentes
  Acciperent laeti divom fumantibus aris.
  Saepe in letifero belli certamine Mavors
  Aut rapidi Tritonis era aut Rhamnusia virgo                  395
  Armatas hominumst praesens hortata catervas.
  Sed postquam tellus scelerest imbuta nefando,
  Iustitiamque omnes cupida de mente fugarunt,
  Perfudere manus fraterno sanguine fratres,
  Destitit extinctos natus lugere parentes,                    400
  Optavit genitor primaevi funera nati,
  Liber ut innuptae poteretur flore novercae,
  Ignaro mater substernens se inpia nato
  Inpia non veritast divos scelerare penates:
  Omnia fanda nefanda malo permixta furore                     405
  Iustificam nobis mentem avertere deorum.
  Quare nec tales dignantur visere coetus,
  Nec se contingi patiuntur lumine claro.



(Fragment of an Epos.)

  Pine-trees gendered whilòme upon soaring Peliac summit
  Swam (as the tale is told) through liquid surges of Neptune
  Far as the Phasis-flood and frontier-land Æëtéan;
  Whenas the youths elect, of Argive vigour the oak-heart,
  Longing the Golden Fleece of the Colchis-region to harry,      5
  Dared in a poop swift-paced to span salt seas and their shallows,
  Sweeping the deep blue seas with sweeps a-carven of fir-wood.
  She, that governing Goddess of citadels crowning the cities,
  Builded herself their car fast-flitting with lightest of breezes,
  Weaving plants of the pine conjoined in curve of the kelson;  10
  Foremost of all to imbue rude Amphitrité with ship-lore.
  Soon as her beak had burst through wind-rackt spaces of ocean,
  While th'oar-tortured wave with spumy whiteness was blanching,
  Surged from the deep abyss and hoar-capped billows the faces
  Seaborn, Nereids eyeing the prodigy wonder-smitten.           15
  There too mortal orbs through softened spendours regarded
  Ocean-nymphs who exposed bodies denuded of raiment
  Bare to the breast upthrust from hoar froth capping the sea-depths.
  Then Thetis Péleus fired (men say) a-sudden with love-lowe,
  Then Thetis nowise spurned to mate and marry wi' mortal,      20
  Then Thetis' Sire himself her yoke with Peleus sanctioned.
  Oh, in those happier days now fondly yearned-for, ye heroes
  Born; (all hail!) of the Gods begotten, and excellent issue
  Bred by your mothers, all hail! and placid deal me your favour.
  Oft wi' the sound of me, in strains and spells I'll invoke you;
  Thee too by wedding-torch so happily, highly augmented,       25
  Peleus, Thessaly's ward, whomunto Jupiter's self deigned
  Yield of the freest gree his loves though gotten of Godheads.
  Thee Thetis, fairest of maids Nereian, vouchsafed to marry?
  Thee did Tethys empower to woo and wed with her grandchild;
  Nor less Oceanus, with water compassing th' Earth-globe?      30
  But when ended the term, and wisht-for light of the day-tide
  Uprose, flocks to the house in concourse mighty convenèd,
  Thessaly all, with glad assembly the Palace fulfilling:
  Presents afore they bring, and joy in faces declare they.
  Scyros desert abides: they quit Phthiotican Tempe,            35
  Homesteads of Crannon-town, eke bulwarkt walls of Larissa;
  Meeting at Pharsálus, and roof Pharsálian seeking.
  None will the fields now till; soft wax all necks of the oxen,
  Never the humble vine is purged by curve of the rake-tooth,
  Never a pruner's hook thins out the shade of the tree-tufts,  41
  Never a bull up-plows broad glebe with bend of the coulter,   40
  Over whose point unuse displays the squalor of rust-stain.
  But in the homestead's heart, where'er that opulent palace
  Hides a retreat, all shines with splendour of gold and of silver.
  Ivory blanches the seats, bright gleam the flagons a-table,   45
  All of the mansion joys in royal riches and grandeur.
  But for the Diva's use bestrewn is the genial bedstead,
  Hidden in midmost stead, and its polisht framework of Indian
  Tusk underlies its cloth empurpled by juice of the dye-shell.
    This be a figured cloth with forms of manhood primeval      50
  Showing by marvel-art the gifts and graces of heroes.
  Here upon Dia's strand wave-resonant, ever-regarding
  Theseus borne from sight outside by fleet of the fleetest,
  Stands Ariadne with heart full-filled with furies unbated,
  Nor can her sense as yet believe she 'spies the espied,       55
  When like one that awakes new roused from slumber deceptive,
  Sees she her hapless self lone left on loneliest sandbank:
  While as the mindless youth with oars disturbeth the shallows,
  Casts to the windy storms what vows he vainly had vowèd.
  Him through the sedges afar the sad-eyed maiden of Minos,     60
  Likest a Bacchant-girl stone-carven, (O her sorrow!)
  'Spies, a-tossing the while on sorest billows of love-care.
  Now no more on her blood-hued hair fine fillets retains she,
  No more now light veil conceals her bosom erst hidden,
  Now no more smooth zone contains her milky-hued paplets:      65
  All gear dropping adown from every part of her person
  Thrown, lie fronting her feet to the briny wavelets a sea-toy.
  But at such now no more of her veil or her fillet a-floating
  Had she regard: on thee, O Theseus! all of her heart-strength,
  All of her sprite, her mind, forlorn, were evermore hanging.  70
  Ah, sad soul, by grief and grievance driven beside thee,
  Sowed Erycína first those brambly cares in thy bosom,
  What while issuing fierce with will enstarkenèd, Theseus
  Forth from the bow-bent shore Piræan putting a-seawards
  Reacht the Gortynian roofs where dwelt th' injurious Monarch.  75
  For 'twas told of yore how forced by pestilence cruel,
  Eke as a blood rite due for th' Androgéonian murthur,
  Many a chosen youth and the bloom of damsels unmarried
  Food for the Minotaur, Cecropia was wont to befurnish.
  Seeing his narrow walls in such wise vexed with evils,        80
  Theseus of freest will for dear-loved Athens his body
  Offered a victim so that no more to Crete be deported
  Lives by Cecropia doomed to burials burying nowise;
  Then with a swifty ship and soft breathed breezes a-stirring,
  Sought he Minos the Haughty where homed in proudest of Mansions.  85
  Him as with yearning glance forthright espièd the royal
  Maiden, whom pure chaste couch aspiring delicate odours
  Cherisht, in soft embrace of a mother comforted all-whiles,
  (E'en as the myrtles begot by the flowing floods of Eurotas,
  Or as the tincts distinct brought forth by breath of the springtide)  90
  Never the burning lights of her eyes from gazing upon him
  Turned she, before fierce flame in all her body conceived she
  Down in its deepest depths and burning amiddle her marrow.
  Ah, with unmitigate heart exciting wretchedmost furies,
  Thou, Boy sacrosanct! man's grief and gladness commingling,   95
  Thou too of Golgos Queen and Lady of leafy Idalium,
  Whelm'd ye in what manner waves that maiden phantasy-firèd,
  All for a blond-haired youth suspiring many a singulf!
  Whiles how dire was the dread she dreed in languishing heart-strings;
  How yet more, ever more, with golden splendour she palèd!    100
  Whenas yearning to mate his might wi' the furious monster
  Theseus braved his death or sought the prizes of praises.
  Then of her gifts to gods not ingrate, nor profiting naught,
  Promise with silent lip, addressed she timidly vowing.
  For as an oak that shakes on topmost summit of Taurus        105
  Its boughs, or cone-growing pine from bole bark resin exuding,
  Whirlwind of passing might that twists the stems with its storm-blasts,
  Uproots, deracinates, forthright its trunk to the farthest,
  Prone falls, shattering wide what lies in line of its downfall,--
  Thus was that wildling flung by Theseus and vanquisht of body,  110
  Vainly tossing its horns and goring the wind to no purpose.
  Thence with abounding praise returned he, guiding his footsteps,
  Whiles did a fine drawn thread check steps in wander abounding,
  Lest when issuing forth of the winding maze labyrinthine
  Baffled become his track by inobservable error.              115
  But for what cause should I, from early subject digressing,
  Tell of the daughter who the face of her sire unseeing,
  Eke her sister's embrace nor less her mother's endearments,
  Who in despair bewept her hapless child that so gladly
  Chose before every and each the lively wooing of Theseus?    120
  Or how borne by the ship to the yeasting shore-line of Dia
  Came she? or how when bound her eyes in bondage of slumber
  Left her that chosen mate with mind unmindful departing?
  Often (they tell) with heart inflamed by fiery fury
  Poured she shrilling of shrieks from deepest depths of her bosom;  125
  Now she would sadly scale the broken faces of mountains,
  Whence she might overglance the boundless boiling of billows,
  Then she would rush to bestem the salt-plain's quivering wavelet
  And from her ankles bare the dainty garment uplifting,
  Spake she these words ('tis said) from sorrow's deepest abysses,  130
  Whiles from her tear-drencht face outburst cold shivering singulfs.
    "Thus fro' my patrial shore, O traitor, hurried to exile,
  Me on a lonely strand hast left, perfidious Theseus?
  Thus wise farest, despite the godhead of Deities spurned,
  (Reckless, alas!) to thy home convoying perjury-curses?      135
  Naught, then, ever availed that mind of cruelest counsel
  Alter? No saving grace in thee was evermore ready,
  That to have pity on me vouchsafed thy pitiless bosom?
  Natheless not in past time such were the promises wordy
  Lavishèd; nor such hopes to me the hapless were bidden;      140
  But the glad married joys, the longed-for pleasures of wedlock.
  All now empty and vain, by breath of the breezes bescattered!
  Now, let woman no more trust her to man when he sweareth,
  Ne'er let her hope to find or truth or faith in his pleadings,
  Who whenas lustful thought forelooks to somewhat attaining,  145
  Never an oath they fear, shall spare no promise to promise.
  Yet no sooner they sate all lewdness and lecherous fancy,
  Nothing remember of words and reck they naught of fore-swearing.
  Certès, thee did I snatch from midmost whirlpool of ruin
  Deadly, and held it cheap loss of a brother to suffer        150
  Rather than fail thy need (O false!) at hour the supremest.
  Therefor my limbs are doomed to be torn of birds, and of ferals
  Prey, nor shall upheapt Earth afford a grave to my body.
  Say me, what lioness bare thee 'neath lone rock of the desert?
  What sea spued thee conceived from out the spume of his surges!  155
  What manner Syrt, what ravening Scylla, what vasty Charybdis?
  Thou who for sweet life saved such meeds art lief of returning!
  If never willed thy breast with me to mate thee in marriage,
  Hating the savage law decreed by primitive parent,
  Still of your competence 'twas within your household to home me,  160
  Where I might serve as slave in gladsome service familiar,
  Laving thy snow-white feet in clearest chrystalline waters
  Or with its purpling gear thy couch in company strewing.
  Yet for what cause should I 'plain in vain to the winds that unknow me,
  (I so beside me with grief!) which ne'er of senses enduèd    165
  Hear not the words sent forth nor aught avail they to answer?
  Now be his course well-nigh engaged in midway of ocean,
  Nor any mortal shape appears in barrens of seawrack.
  Thus at the latest hour with insults over-sufficient
  E'en to my plaints fere Fate begrudges ears that would hear me.  170
  Jupiter! Lord of All-might, Oh would in days that are bygone
  Ne'er had Cecropian poops toucht ground at Gnossian foreshore,
  Nor to th' unconquered Bull that tribute direful conveying
  Had the false Seaman bound to Cretan island his hawser,
  Nor had yon evil wight, 'neath shape the softest hard purpose  175
  Hiding, enjoyed repose within our mansion beguested!
  Whither can wend I now? What hope lends help to the lost one?
  Idomenéan mounts shall I scale? Ah, parted by whirlpools
  Widest, yon truculent main where yields it power of passage?
  Aid of my sire can I crave? Whom I willing abandoned,        180
  Treading in tracks of a youth bewrayed with blood of a brother!
  Can I console my soul wi' the helpful love of a helpmate
  Who flies me with pliant oars, flies overbounding the sea-depths?
  Nay, an this Coast I quit, this lone isle lends me no roof-tree,
  Nor aught issue allows begirt by billows of Ocean:           185
  Nowhere is path for flight: none hope shows: all things are silent:
  All be a desolate waste: all makes display of destruction.
  Yet never close these eyne in latest languor of dying,
  Ne'er from my wearied frame go forth slow-ebbing my senses,
  Ere from the Gods just doom implore I, treason-betrayed,     190
  And with my breath supreme firm faith of Celestials invoke I.
  Therefore, O ye who 'venge man's deed with penalties direful,
  Eumenides! aye wont to bind with viperous hair-locks
  Foreheads,--Oh, deign outspeak fierce wrath from bosom outbreathing,
  Hither, Oh hither, speed, and lend ye all ear to my grievance,  195
  Which now sad I (alas!) outpour from innermost vitals
  Maugre my will, sans help, blind, fired with furious madness.
  And, as indeed all spring from veriest core of my bosom,
  Suffer ye not the cause of grief and woe to evanish;
  But wi' the Will wherewith could Theseus leave me in loneness,  200
  Goddesses! bid that Will lead him, lead his, to destruction."
    E'en as she thus poured forth these words from anguish of bosom,
  And for this cruel deed, distracted, sued she for vengeance,
  Nodded the Ruler of Gods Celestial, matchless of All-might,
  When at the gest earth-plain and horrid spaces of ocean      205
  Trembled, and every sphere rockt stars and planets resplendent.
  Meanwhile Theseus himself, obscured in blindness of darkness
  As to his mind, dismiss'd from breast oblivious all things
  Erewhile enjoined and held hereto in memory constant,
  Nor for his saddened sire the gladness-signals uphoisting    210
  Heralded safe return within sight of the Erechthean harbour.
  For 'twas told of yore, when from walls of the Virginal Deëss
  Ægeus speeding his son, to the care of breezes committed,
  Thus with a last embrace to the youth spake words of commandment:
    "Son! far nearer my heart (sole thou) than life of the longest,  215
  Son, I perforce dismiss to doubtful, dangerous chances,
  Lately restored to me when eld draws nearest his ending,
  Sithence such fortune in me, and in thee such boiling of valour
  Tear thee away from me so loath, whose eyne in their languor
  Never are sated with sight of my son, all-dearest of figures.  220
  Nor will I send thee forth with joy that gladdens my bosom,
  Nor will I suffer thee show boon signs of favouring Fortune,
  But fro' my soul I'll first express an issue of sorrow,
  Soiling my hoary hairs with dust and ashes commingled;
  Then will I hang stained sails fast-made to the wavering yard-arms,  225
  So shall our mourning thought and burning torture of spirit
  Show by the dark sombre-dye of Iberian canvas spread.
  But, an grant me the grace Who dwells in Sacred Itone,
  (And our issue to guard and ward the seats of Erechtheus
  Sware She) that be thy right besprent with blood of the Man-Bull,  230
  Then do thou so-wise act, and storèd in memory's heart-core
  Dwell these mandates of me, no time their traces untracing.
  Dip, when first shall arise our hills to gladden thy eye-glance,
  Down from thine every mast th'ill-omened vestments of mourning,
  Then let the twisten ropes upheave the whitest of canvas,    235
  Wherewith splendid shall gleam the tallest spars of the top-mast,  235b
  These seeing sans delay with joy exalting my spirit
  Well shall I wot boon Time sets thee returning before me."
    Such were the mandates which stored at first in memory constant
  Faded from Theseus' mind like mists, compelled by the whirlwind,
  Fleet from äerial crests of mountains hoary with snow-drifts.  240
  But as the sire had sought the citadel's summit for outlook,
  Wasting his anxious eyes with tear-floods evermore flowing,
  Forthright e'en as he saw the sail-gear darkened with dye-stain,
  Headlong himself flung he from the sea-cliff's pinnacled summit
  Holding his Theseus lost by doom of pitiless Fortune.        245
  Thus as he came to the home funest, his roof-tree paternal,
  Theseus (vaunting the death), what dule to the maiden of Minos
  Dealt with unminding mind so dree'd he similar dolour.
  She too gazing in grief at the kelson vanishing slowly,
  Self-wrapt, manifold cares revolved, in spirit perturbèd.    250

       *       *       *       *       *


    But fro' the further side came flitting bright-faced Iacchus
  Girded by Satyr-crew and Nysa-rearèd Sileni
  Burning wi' love unto thee (Ariadne!) and greeting thy presence.
      *    *    *    *
  Who flocking eager to fray did rave with infuriate spirit,
  "Evoë" phrensying loud, with heads at "Evoë" rolling.        255
  Brandisht some of the maids their thyrsi sheathèd of spear-point,
  Some snatcht limbs and joints of sturlings rended to pieces,
  These girt necks and waists with writhing bodies of vipers,
  Those wi' the gear enwombed in crates dark orgies ordainèd--
  Orgies that ears prophane must vainly lust for o'er hearing--  260
  Others with palms on high smote hurried strokes on the cymbal,
  Or from the polisht brass woke thin-toned tinkling music,
  While from the many there boomed and blared hoarse blast of the
  And with its horrid skirl loud shrilled the barbarous bag-pipe,
    Showing such varied forms, that richly-decorate couch-cloth  265
  Folded in strait embrace the bedding drapery-veilèd.
  This when the Théssalan youths had eyed with eager inspection
  Fulfilled, place they began to provide for venerate Godheads,
  Even as Zephyrus' breath, seas couching placid at dawn-tide,
  Roughens, then stings and spurs the wavelets slantingly fretted--  270
  Rising Aurora the while 'neath Sol the wanderer's threshold--
  Tardy at first they flow by the clement breathing of breezes
  Urgèd, and echo the shores with soft-toned ripples of laughter,
  But as the winds wax high so waves wax higher and higher,
  Flashing and floating afar to outswim morn's purpurine splendours,--  275
  So did the crowd fare forth, the royal vestibule leaving,
  And to their house each wight with vaguing paces departed.
    After their wending, the first, foremost from Pelion's summit,
  Chiron came to the front with woodland presents surchargèd:
  Whatso of blooms and flowers bring forth Thessalian uplands  280
  Mighty with mountain crests, whate'er of riverine lea flowers
  Reareth Favonius' air, bud-breeding, tepidly breathing,
  All in his hands brought he, unseparate in woven garlands,
  Whereat laughèd the house as soothed by pleasure of perfume.
    Presently Péneus appears, deserting verdurous Tempe--      285
  Tempe girt by her belts of greenwood ever impending,
  Left for the Mamonides with frequent dances to worship--
  Nor is he empty of hand, for bears he tallest of beeches
  Deracinate, and bays with straight boles lofty and stately,
  Not without nodding plane-tree nor less the flexible sister  290
  Fire-slain Phaëton left, and not without cypresses airy.
  These in a line wide-broke set he, the Mansion surrounding,
  So by the soft leaves screened, the porch might flourish in verdure.
    Follows hard on his track with active spirit Prometheus,
  Bearing extenuate sign of penalties suffer'd in bygones.     295
  Paid erewhiles what time fast-bound as to every member,
  Hung he in carkanet slung from the Scythian rock-tor.
    Last did the Father of Gods with his sacred spouse and his offspring,
  Proud from the Heavens proceed, thee leaving (Phoebus) in loneness,
  Lone wi' thy sister twin who haunteth mountains of Idrus:    300
  For that the Virgin spurned as thou the person of Peleus,
  Nor Thetis' nuptial torch would greet by act of her presence.
    When they had leaned their limbs upon snowy benches reposing,
  Tables largely arranged with various viands were garnisht.
  But, ere opened the feast, with infirm gesture their semblance  305
  Shaking, the Parcae fell to chaunting veridique verses.
  Robed were their tremulous frames all o'er in muffle of garments
  Bright-white, purple of hem enfolding heels in its edges;
  Snowy the fillets that bound heads agèd by many a year-tide,
  And, as their wont aye was, their hands plied labour unceasing.  310
  Each in her left upheld with soft fleece clothèd a distaff,
  Then did the right that drew forth thread with upturn of fingers
  Gently fashion the yarn which deftly twisted by thumb-ball
  Speeded the spindle poised by thread-whorl perfect of polish;
  Thus as the work was wrought, the lengths were trimmed wi' the
      fore-teeth,  315
  While to their thin, dry lips stuck wool-flecks severed by biting,
  Which at the first outstood from yarn-hanks evenly fine-drawn.
  Still at their feet in front soft fleece-flecks white as the snow-flake
  Lay in the trusty guard of wickers woven in withies.
  Always a-carding the wool, with clear-toned voices resounding  320
  Told they such lots as these in song divinely directed,
  Chaunts which none after-time shall 'stablish falsehood-convicted.


  O who by virtues great all highmost honours enhancest,
  Guard of Emáthia-land, most famous made by thine offspring,
  Take what the Sisters deign this gladsome day to disclose thee,  325
  Oracles soothfast told,--And ye, by Destiny followed,
    Speed ye, the well-spun woof out-drawing, speed ye, O Spindles.


  Soon to thy sight shall rise, their fond hopes bringing to bridegrooms,
  Hesperus: soon shall come thy spouse with planet auspicious,
  Who shall thy mind enbathe with a love that softens the spirit,  330
  And as thyself shall prepare for sinking in languorous slumber,
  Under thy neck robust, soft arms dispreading as pillow.
    Speed ye, the well-spun woof out-drawing, speed ye, O Spindles.


  Never a house like this such loves as these hath united,
  Never did love conjoin by such-like covenant lovers,         335
  As th'according tie Thetis deigned in concert wi' Peleus.
    Speed ye, the well-spun woof out-drawing, speed ye, O Spindles.


  Born of yon twain shall come Achilles guiltless of fear-sense,
  Known by his forceful breast and ne'er by back to the foeman,
  Who shall at times full oft in doubtful contest of race-course  340
  Conquer the fleet-foot doe with slot-tracks smoking and burning.
    Speed ye, the well-spun woof out-drawing, speed ye, O Spindles.


  None shall with him compare, howe'er war-doughty a hero,
  Whenas the Phrygian rills flow deep with bloodshed of Teucer,
  And beleaguering the walls of Troy with longest of warfare   345
  He shall the works lay low, third heir of Pelops the perjured.
    Speed ye, the well-spun woof out-drawing, speed ye, O Spindles.


  His be the derring-do and deeds of valour egregious,
  Often mothers shall own at funeral-rites of their children,
  What time their hoary hairs from head in ashes are loosened,  350
  And wi' their hands infirm they smite their bosoms loose duggèd.
    Speed ye, the well-spun woof out-drawing, speed ye, O Spindles.


  For as the toiling hind bestrewing denseness of corn-stalks
  Under the broiling sun mows grain-fields yellow to harvest,
  So shall his baneful brand strew earth with corpses of Troy-born.  355
    Speed ye, the well-spun woof out-drawing, speed ye, O Spindles.


  Aye to his valorous worth attest shall wave of Scamander
  Which unto Hellé-Sea fast flowing ever dischargeth,
  Straiter whose course shall grow by up-heaped barrage of corpses,
  While in his depths runs warm his stream with slaughter commingled.  360
    Speed ye, the well-spun woof out-drawing, speed ye, O Spindles.


  Witness in fine shall be the victim rendered to death-stroke,
  Whenas the earthern tomb on lofty tumulus builded
  Shall of the stricken maid receive limbs white as the snow-flake.
    Speed ye, the well-spun woof out-drawing, speed ye, O Spindles.  365


  For when at last shall Fors to weary Achaians her fiat
  Deal, of Dardanus-town to burst Neptunian fetters,
  Then shall the high-reared tomb stand bathed with Polyxena's life-blood,
  Who, as the victim doomed to fall by the double-edged falchion,
  Forward wi' hams relaxt shall smite a body beheaded.         370
    Speed ye, the well-spun woof out-drawing, speed ye, O Spindles.


  Wherefore arise, ye pair, conjoin loves ardently longed-for,
  Now doth the groom receive with happiest omen his goddess,
  Now let the bride at length to her yearning spouse be delivered.
    Speed ye, the well-spun woof out-drawing, speed ye, O Spindles.  375


  Neither the nurse who comes at dawn to visit her nursling
  E'er shall avail her neck to begird with yesterday's ribband.
    [Speed ye, the well-spun woof out-drawing, speed ye, O spindles.]
  Nor shall the mother's soul for ill-matcht daughter a-grieving
  Lose by a parted couch all hopes of favourite grandsons.     380
    Speed ye, the well-spun woof out-drawing, speed ye, O Spindles.

  Thus in the bygone day Peleus' fate foretelling
  Chaunted from breasts divine prophetic verse the Parcae.
  For that the pure chaste homes of heroes to visit in person
  Oft-tide the Gods, and themselves to display where mortals were gathered,
  Wont were the Heavenlies while none human piety spurned.
  Often the Deities' Sire, in fulgent temple a-dwelling,
  Whenas in festal days received he his annual worship,
  Looked upon hundreds of bulls felled prone on pavement before him.
  Full oft Liber who roamed from topmost peak of Parnassus     390
  Hunted his howling host, his Thyiads with tresses dishevelled.
      *    *    *    *
  Then with contending troops from all their city outflocking
  Gladly the Delphians hailed their God with smoking of altars.
  Often in death-full war and bravest of battle, or Mavors
  Or rapid Triton's Queen or eke the Virgin Rhamnusian,        395
  Bevies of weaponed men exhorting, provèd their presence.
  But from the time when earth was stained with unspeakable scandals
  And forth fro' greeding breasts of all men justice departed,
  Then did the brother drench his hands in brotherly bloodshed,
  Stinted the son in heart to mourn decease of his parents,    400
  Longèd the sire to sight his first-born's funeral convoy
  So more freely the flower of step-dame-maiden to rifle;
  After that impious Queen her guiltless son underlying,
  Impious, the household gods with crime ne'er dreading to sully--
  All things fair and nefand being mixt in fury of evil        405
  Turned from ourselves avert the great goodwill of the Godheads.
  Wherefor they nowise deign our human assemblies to visit,
  Nor do they suffer themselves be met in light of the day-tide.

Pines aforetimes sprung from Pelion peak floated, so 'tis said, through
liquid billows of Neptune to the flowing Phasis and the confines Aeetaean,
when the picked youth, the vigour of Argive manhood seeking to carry away
the Golden Fleece from Colchis, dared to skim o'er salt seas in a
swift-sailing ship, sweeping caerulean ocean with paddles shapen from
fir-wood. That Goddess who guards the castles in topmost parts of the towns
herself fashioned the car, scudding with lightest of winds, uniting the
interweaved pines unto the curving keel. That same first instructed
untaught Amphitrite with sailing. Scarce had it split with its stem the
windy waves, and the billow vext with oars had whitened into foam, when
arose from the abyss of the hoary eddies the faces of sea-dwelling Nereids
wondering at the marvel. And then on that propitious day mortal eyes gazed
on sea-nymphs with naked bodies bare to the breasts outstanding from the
foamy abyss. Then 'tis said Peleus burned with desire for Thetis, then
Thetis contemned not mortal hymenaeals, then Thetis' sire himself
sanctioned her joining to Peleus. O born in the time of joyfuller ages,
heroes, hail! sprung from the gods, good progeny of mothers, hail! and
favourably be ye inclined. You oft in my song I'll address, thee too I'll
approach, Peleus, pillar of Thessaly, so increased in importance by thy
fortunate wedding-torches, to whom Jupiter himself, the sire of the gods
himself, yielded up his beloved. Did not Thetis embrace thee, she most
winsome of Nereids born? Did not Tethys consent that thou should'st lead
home her grandchild, and Oceanus eke, whose waters girdle the total globe?
When in full course of time the longed-for day had dawned, all Thessaly
assembled throngs his home, a gladsome company o'erspreading the halls:
they bear gifts to the fore, and their joy in their faces they shew. Scyros
desert remains, they leave Phthiotic Tempe, Crannon's homes, and the
fortressed walls of Larissa; to Pharsalia they hie, 'neath Pharsalian roofs
they gather. None tills the soil, the heifers' necks grow softened, the
trailing vine is not cleansed by the curved rake-prongs, nor does the
sickle prune the shade of the spreading tree-branches, nor does the bullock
up-tear the glebe with the prone-bending ploughshare; squalid rust steals
o'er the neglected ploughs.

But this mansion, throughout its innermost recesses of opulent royalty,
glitters with gleaming gold and with silver. Ivory makes white the seats;
goblets glint on the boards; the whole house delights in the splendour of
royal treasure. Placed in the midst of the mansion is the bridal bed of the
goddess, made glossy with Indian tusks and covered with purple, tinted with
the shell-fish's rosy dye. This tapestry embroidered with figures of men of
ancient time pourtrays with admirable art the heroes' valour. For looking
forth from Dia's beach, resounding with crashing of breakers, Theseus
hasting from sight with swiftest of fleets, Ariadne watches, her heart
swelling with raging passion, nor scarce yet credits she sees what she
sees, as, newly-awakened from her deceptive sleep, she perceives herself,
deserted and woeful, on the lonely shore. But the heedless youth, flying
away, beats the waves with his oars, leaving his perjured vows to the gusty
gales. In the dim distance from amidst the sea-weed, the daughter of Minos
with sorrowful eyes, like a stone-carved Bacchante, gazes afar, alas! gazes
after him, heaving with great waves of grief. No longer does the fragile
fillet bind her yellow locks, no more with light veil is her hidden bosom
covered, no more with rounded zone the milky breasts are clasped; down
fallen from her body everything is scattered, hither, thither, and the salt
waves toy with them in front of her very feet. But neither on fillet nor
floating veil, but on thee, Theseus, in their stead, was she musing: on
thee she bent her heart, her thoughts, her love-lorn mind. Ah, woeful one,
with sorrows unending distraught, Erycina sows thorny cares deep in thy
bosom, since that time when Theseus fierce in his vigour set out from the
curved bay of Piraeus, and gained the Gortynian roofs of the iniquitous

For of old 'tis narrated, that constrained by plague of the cruelest to
expiate the slaughter of Androgeos, both chosen youths and the pick of the
unmarried maidens Cecropia was wont to give as a feast to the Minotaur.
When thus his strait walls with ills were vexed, Theseus with free will
preferred to yield up his body for adored Athens rather than such Cecropian
corpses be carried to Crete unobsequied. And therefore borne in a speedy
craft by favouring breezes, he came to the imperious Minos and his superb
seat. Instant the royal virgin him saw with longing glance, she whom the
chaste couch out-breathing sweetest of scents cradled in her mother's
tender enfoldings, like to the myrtle which the rivers of Eurotas produce,
or the many-tinted blooms opening with the springtide's breezes, she bent
not down away from him her kindling glance, until the flame spread through
her whole body, and burned into her innermost marrow. Ah, hard of heart,
urging with misery to madness, O holy boy, who mingles men's cares and
their joyings, and thou queen of Golgos and of foliaged Idalium, on what
waves did you heave the mind-kindled maid, sighing full oft for the
golden-haired guest! What dreads she bore in her swooning soul! How often
did she grow sallower in sheen than gold! When craving to contend against
the savage monster Theseus faced death or the palm of praise. Then gifts to
the gods not unmeet not idly given, with promise from tight-closed lips did
she address her vows. For as an oak waving its boughs on Taurus' top, or a
coniferous pine with sweating stem, is uprooted by savage storm, twisting
its trunk with its blast (dragged from its roots prone it falleth afar,
breaking all in the line of its fall) so did Theseus fling down the
conquered body of the brute, tossing its horns in vain towards the skies.
Thence backwards he retraced his steps 'midst great laud, guiding his
errant footsteps by means of a tenuous thread, lest when outcoming from
tortuous labyrinthines his efforts be frustrated by unobservant wandering.
But why, turned aside from my first story, should I recount more, how the
daughter fleeing her father's face, her sister's embrace, and e'en her
mother's, who despairingly bemoaned her lost daughter, preferred to all
these the sweet love of Theseus; or how borne by their boat to the spumy
shores of Dia she came; or how her yokeman with unmemoried breast forsaking
her, left her bound in the shadows of sleep? And oft, so 'tis said, with
her heart burning with fury she outpoured clarion cries from depths of her
bosom, then sadly scaled the rugged mounts, whence she could cast her
glance o'er the vasty seething ocean, then ran into the opposing billows of
the heaving sea, raising from her bared legs her clinging raiment, and in
uttermost plight of woe with tear-stained face and chilly sobs spake she

"Is it thus, O perfidious, when dragged from my motherland's shores, is it
thus, O false Theseus, that thou leavest me on this desolate strand? thus
dost depart unmindful of slighted godheads, bearing home thy perjured vows?
Was no thought able to bend the intent of thy ruthless mind? hadst thou no
clemency there, that thy pitiless bowels might compassionate me? But these
were not the promises thou gavest me idly of old, this was not what thou
didst bid me hope for, but the blithe bride-bed, hymenaeal happiness: all
empty air, blown away by the breezes. Now, now, let no woman give credence
to man's oath, let none hope for faithful vows from mankind; for whilst
their eager desire strives for its end, nothing fear they to swear, nothing
of promises stint they: but instant their lusting thoughts are satiate with
lewdness, nothing of speech they remember, nothing of perjuries reck. In
truth I snatched thee from the midst of the whirlpool of death, preferring
to suffer the loss of a brother rather than fail thy need in the supreme
hour, O ingrate. For the which I shall be a gift as prey to be rent by wild
beasts and the carrion-fowl, nor dead shall I be placed in the earth,
covered with funeral mound. What lioness bare thee 'neath lonely crag? What
sea conceived and spued thee from its foamy crest? What Syrtis, what
grasping Scylla, what vast Charybdis? O thou repayer with such guerdon for
thy sweet life! If 'twas not thy heart's wish to yoke with me, through
holding in horror the dread decrees of my stern sire, yet thou couldst have
led me to thy home, where as thine handmaid I might have served thee with
cheerful service, laving thy snowy feet with clear water, or spreading the
purple coverlet o'er thy couch. Yet why, distraught with woe, do I vainly
lament to the unknowing winds, which unfurnished with sense, can neither
hear uttered complaints nor can return them? For now he has sped away into
the midst of the seas, nor doth any mortal appear along this desolate
seaboard. Thus with o'erweening scorn doth bitter Fate in my extreme hour
even grudge ears to my plaints. All-powerful Jupiter! would that in old
time the Cecropian poops had not touched at the Gnossian shores, nor that
bearing to the unquelled bull the direful ransom had the false mariner
moored his hawser to Crete, nor that yon wretch hiding ruthless designs
beneath sweet seemings had reposed as a guest in our halls! For whither may
I flee? in what hope, O lost one, take refuge? Shall I climb the Idomenean
crags? but the truculent sea stretching amain with its whirlings of waters
separates us. Can I quest help from my father, whom I deserted to follow a
youth besprinkled with my brother's blood? Can I crave comfort from the
care of a faithful yokeman, who is fleeing with yielding oars, encurving
'midst whirling waters. If I turn from the beach there is no roof in this
tenantless island, no way sheweth a passage, circled by waves of the sea;
no way of flight, no hope; all denotes dumbness, desolation, and death.
Natheless mine eyes shall not be dimmed in death, nor my senses secede from
my spent frame, until I have besought from the gods a meet mulct for my
betrayal, and implored the faith of the celestials with my latest breath.
Wherefore ye requiters of men's deeds with avenging pains, O Eumenides,
whose front enwreathed with serpent-locks blazons the wrath exhaled from
your bosom, hither, hither haste, hear ye my plainings, which I, sad
wretch, am urged to outpour from mine innermost marrow, helpless, burning,
and blind with frenzied fury. And since in truth they spring from the
veriest depths of my heart, be ye unwilling to allow my agony to pass
unheeded, but with such mind as Theseus forsook me, with like mind, O
goddesses, may he bring evil on himself and on his kin."

After she had poured forth these words from her grief-laden bosom,
distractedly clamouring for requital against his heartless deeds, the
celestial ruler assented with almighty nod, at whose motion the earth and
the awe-full waters quaked, and the world of glittering stars did quiver.
But Theseus, self-blinded with mental mist, let slip from forgetful breast
all those injunctions which until then he had held firmly in mind, nor bore
aloft sweet signals to his sad sire, shewing himself safe when in sight of
Erectheus' haven. For 'tis said that aforetime, when Aegeus entrusted his
son to the winds, on leaving the walls of the chaste goddess's city, these
commands he gave to the youth with his parting embrace.

"O mine only son, far dearer to me than long life, lately restored to me at
extreme end of my years, O son whom I must perforce dismiss to a doubtful
hazard, since my ill fate and thine ardent valour snatch thee from
unwilling me, whose dim eyes are not yet sated with my son's dear form: nor
gladly and with joyous breast do I send thee, nor will I suffer thee to
bear signs of helpful fortune, but first from my breast many a plaint will
I express, sullying my grey hairs with dust and ashes, and then will I hang
dusky sails to the swaying mast, so that our sorrow and burning lowe are
shewn by Iberian canvas, rustily darkened. Yet if the dweller on holy
Itone, who deigns defend our race and Erectheus' dwellings, grant thee to
besprinkle thy right hand in the bull's blood, then see that in very truth
these commandments deep-stored in thine heart's memory do flourish, nor any
time deface them. Instant thine eyes shall see our cliffs, lower their
gloomy clothing from every yard, and let the twisted cordage bear aloft
snowy sails, where splendent shall shine bright topmast spars, so that,
instant discerned, I may know with gladness and lightness of heart that in
prosperous hour thou art returned to my face."

These charges, at first held in constant mind, from Theseus slipped away as
clouds are impelled by the breath of the winds from the ethereal peak of a
snow-clad mount. But his father as he betook himself to the castle's
turrets as watchplace, dimming his anxious eyes with continual weeping,
when first he spied the discoloured canvas, flung himself headlong from the
top of the crags, deeming Theseus lost by harsh fate. Thus as he entered
the grief-stricken house, his paternal roof, Theseus savage with slaughter
met with like grief as that which with unmemoried mind he had dealt to
Minos' daughter: while she with grieving gaze at his disappearing keel,
turned over a tumult of cares in her wounded spirit.

But on another part [of the tapestry] swift hastened the flushed Iacchus
with his train of Satyrs and Nisa-begot Sileni, thee questing, Ariadne, and
aflame with love for thee. * * * * These scattered all around, an inspired
band, rushed madly with mind all distraught, ranting "Euhoe," with tossing
of heads "Euhoe." Some with womanish hands shook thyrsi with wreath-covered
points; some tossed limbs of a rended steer; some engirt themselves with
writhed snakes; some enacted obscure orgies with deep chests, orgies of
which the profane vainly crave a hearing; others beat the tambours with
outstretched palms, or from the burnished brass provoked shrill tinklings,
blew raucous-sounding blasts from many horns, and the barbarous pipe droned
forth horrible song.

With luxury of such figures was the coverlet adorned, enwrapping the bed
with its mantling embrace. After the Thessalian youthhood with eager
engazing were sated they began to give way to the sacred gods. Hence, as
with his morning's breath brushing the still sea Zephyrus makes the sloping
billows uprise, when Aurora mounts 'neath the threshold of the wandering
sun, which waves heave slowly at first with the breeze's gentle motion
(plashing with the sound as of low laughter) but after, as swells the wind,
more and more frequent they crowd and gleam in the purple light as they
float away,--so quitting the royal vestibule did the folk hie them away
each to his home with steps wandering hither and thither.

After they had wended their way, chief from the Pelion vertex Chiron came,
the bearer of sylvan spoil: for whatsoever the fields bear, whatso the
Thessalian land on its high hills breeds, and what flowers the fecund air
of warm Favonius begets near the running streams, these did he bear
enwreathed into blended garlands wherewith the house rippled with laughter,
caressed by the grateful odour.

Speedily stands present Penios, for a time his verdant Tempe, Tempe whose
overhanging trees encircle, leaving to the Dorian choirs, damsels
Magnesian, to frequent; nor empty-handed,--for he has borne hither lofty
beeches uprooted and the tall laurel with straight stem, nor lacks he the
nodding plane and the lithe sister of flame-wrapt Phaethon and the aerial
cypress. These wreathed in line did he place around the palace so that the
vestibule might grow green sheltered with soft fronds.

After him follows Prometheus of inventive mind, bearing diminishing traces
of his punishment of aforetime, which of old he had suffered, with his
limbs confined by chains hanging from the rugged Scythian crags. Then came
the sire of gods from heaven with his holy consort and offspring, leaving
thee alone, Phoebus, with thy twin-sister the fosterer of the mountains of
Idrus: for equally with thyself did thy sister disdain Peleus nor was she
willing to honour the wedding torches of Thetis. After they had reclined
their snow-white forms along the seats, tables were loaded on high with
food of various kinds.

In the meantime with shaking bodies and infirm gesture the Parcae began to
intone their veridical chant. Their trembling frames were enwrapped around
with white garments, encircled with a purple border at their heels, snowy
fillets bound each aged brow, and their hands pursued their never-ending
toil, as of custom. The left hand bore the distaff enwrapped in soft wool,
the right hand lightly withdrawing the threads with upturned fingers did
shape them, then twisting them with the prone thumb it turned the balanced
spindle with well-polished whirl. And then with a pluck of their tooth the
work was always made even, and the bitten wool-shreds adhered to their
dried lips, which shreds at first had stood out from the fine thread. And
in front of their feet wicker baskets of osier twigs took charge of the
soft white woolly fleece. These, with clear-sounding voice, as they combed
out the wool, outpoured fates of such kind in sacred song, in song which
none age yet to come could tax with untruth.

"O with great virtues thine exceeding honour augmenting, stay of
Emathia-land, most famous in thine issue, receive what the sisters make
known to thee on this gladsome day, a weird veridical! But ye whom the
fates do follow:--Haste ye, a-weaving the woof, O hasten, ye spindles.

"Now Hesperus shall come unto thee bearing what is longed for by
bridegrooms, with that fortunate star shall thy bride come, who ensteeps
thy soul with the sway of softening love, and prepares with thee to conjoin
in languorous slumber, making her smooth arms thy pillow round 'neath thy
sinewy neck. Haste ye, a-weaving the woof, O hasten, ye spindles.

"No house ever yet enclosed such loves, no love bound lovers with such
pact, as abideth with Thetis, as is the concord of Peleus. Haste ye,
a-weaving the woof, O hasten, ye spindles.

"To ye shall Achilles be born, a stranger to fear, to his foemen not by his
back, but by his broad breast known, who, oft-times the victor in the
uncertain struggle of the foot-race, shall outrun the fire-fleet footsteps
of the speedy doe. Haste ye, a-weaving the woof, O hasten, ye spindles.

"None in war with him may compare as a hero, when the Phrygian streams
shall trickle with Trojan blood, and when besieging the walls of Troy with
a long-drawn-out warfare perjured Pelops' third heir shall lay that city
waste. Haste ye, a-weaving the woof, O hasten, ye spindles.

"His glorious acts and illustrious deeds often shall mothers attest o'er
funeral-rites of their sons, when the white locks from their heads are
unloosed amid ashes, and they bruise their discoloured breasts with feeble
fists. Haste ye, a-weaving the woof, O hasten, ye spindles.

"For as the husbandman bestrewing the dense wheat-ears mows the harvest
yellowed 'neath ardent sun, so shall he cast prostrate the corpses of
Troy's sons with grim swords. Haste ye, a-weaving the woof, O hasten, ye

"His great valour shall be attested by Scamander's wave, which ever pours
itself into the swift Hellespont, narrowing whose course with slaughtered
heaps of corpses he shall make tepid its deep stream by mingling warm blood
with the water. Haste ye, a-weaving the woof, O hasten, ye spindles.

"And she a witness in fine shall be the captive-maid handed to death, when
the heaped-up tomb of earth built in lofty mound shall receive the snowy
limbs of the stricken virgin. Haste ye, a-weaving the woof, O hasten, ye

"For instant fortune shall give the means to the war-worn Greeks to break
Neptune's stone bonds of the Dardanian city, the tall tomb shall be made
dank with Polyxena's blood, who as the victim succumbing 'neath two-edged
sword, with yielding hams shall fall forward a headless corpse. Haste ye,
a-weaving the woof, O hasten, ye spindles.

"Wherefore haste ye to conjoin in the longed-for delights of your love.
Bridegroom thy goddess receive in felicitous compact; let the bride be
given to her eager husband. Haste ye, a-weaving the woof, O hasten, ye

"Nor shall the nurse at orient light returning, with yester-e'en's thread
succeed in circling her neck. [Haste ye, a-weaving the woof, O hasten, ye
spindles.] Not need her solicitous mother fear sad discord shall cause a
parted bed for her daughter, nor need she cease to hope for dear
grandchildren. Haste ye, a-weaving the woof, O hasten, ye spindles."

With such soothsaying songs of yore did the Parcae chant from divine breast
the felicitous fate of Peleus. For of aforetime the heaven-dwellers were
wont to visit the chaste homes of heroes and to shew themselves in mortal
assembly ere yet their worship was scorned. Often the father of the gods,
a-resting in his glorious temple, when on the festal days his annual rites
appeared, gazed on an hundred bulls strewn prone on the earth. Often
wandering Liber on topmost summit of Parnassus led his yelling Thyiads with
loosely tossed locks. * * * * When the Delphians tumultuously trooping from
the whole of their city joyously acclaimed the god with smoking altars.
Often in lethal strife of war Mavors, or swift Triton's queen, or the
Rhamnusian virgin, in person did exhort armed bodies of men. But after the
earth was infected with heinous crime, and each one banished justice from
their grasping mind, and brothers steeped their hands in fraternal blood,
the son ceased grieving o'er departed parents, the sire craved for the
funeral rites of his first-born that freely he might take of the flower of
unwedded step-dame, the unholy mother, lying under her unknowing son, did
not fear to sully her household gods with dishonour: everything licit and
lawless commingled with mad infamy turned away from us the just-seeing mind
of the gods. Wherefore nor do they deign to appear at such-like assemblies,
nor will they permit themselves to be met in the day-light.


  Esti me adsiduo confectum cura dolore
    Sevocat a doctis, Ortale, virginibus,
  Nec potisest dulces Musarum expromere fetus
    Mens animi, (tantis fluctuat ipsa malis:
  Namque mei nuper Lethaeo gurgite fratris                       5
    Pallidulum manans adluit unda pedem,
  Troia Rhoeteo quem subter littore tellus
    Ereptum nostris obterit ex oculis.
      *    *    *    *
  Adloquar, audiero numquam tua _facta_ loquentem,
    Numquam ego te, vita frater amabilior,                      10
  Aspiciam posthac. at certe semper amabo,
    Semper maesta tua carmina morte canam,
  Qualia sub densis ramorum concinit umbris
    Daulias absumpti fata gemens Itylei)--
  Sed tamen in tantis maeroribus, Ortale, mitto                 15
    Haec expressa tibi carmina Battiadae,
  Ne tua dicta vagis nequiquam credita ventis
    Effluxisse meo forte putes animo,
  Vt missum sponsi furtivo munere malum
    Procurrit casto virginis e gremio,                          20
  Quod miserae oblitae molli sub veste locatum,
    Dum adventu matris prosilit, excutitur:
  Atque illud prono praeceps agitur decursu,
    Huic manat tristi conscius ore rubor.



  Albeit care that consumes, with dule assiduous grieving,
    Me from the Learnèd Maids (Hortalus!) ever seclude,
  Nor can avail sweet births of the Muses thou to deliver
    Thought o' my mind; (so much floats it on flooding of ills:
  For that the Lethe-wave upsurging of late from abysses,        5
    Lavèd my brother's foot, paling with pallor of death,
  He whom the Trojan soil, Rhoetean shore underlying,
    Buries for ever and aye, forcibly snatched from our sight.
      *    *    *    *
  I can address; no more shall I hear thee tell of thy doings,
    Say, shall I never again, brother all liefer than life,     10
  Sight thee henceforth? But I will surely love thee for ever
    Ever what songs I sing saddened shall be by thy death;
  Such as the Daulian bird 'neath gloom of shadowy frondage
    Warbles, of Itys lost ever bemoaning the lot.)
  Yet amid grief so great to thee, my Hortalus, send I          15
    These strains sung to a mode borrowed from Battiades;
  Lest shouldest weet of me thy words, to wandering wind-gusts
    Vainly committed, perchance forth of my memory flowed--
  As did that apple sent for a furtive giftie by wooer,
    In the chaste breast of the Maid hidden a-sudden out-sprang;  20
  For did the hapless forget when in loose-girt garment it lurkèd,
    Forth would it leap as she rose, scared by her mother's approach,
  And while coursing headlong, it rolls far out of her keeping,
    O'er the triste virgin's brow flushes the conscious blush.

Though outspent with care and unceasing grief, I am withdrawn, Ortalus,
from the learned Virgins, nor is my soul's mind able to bring forth sweet
babes of the Muses (so much does it waver 'midst ills: for but lately the
wave of the Lethean stream doth lave with its flow the pallid foot of my
brother, whom 'neath the Rhoetean seaboard the Trojan soil doth crush,
thrust from our eyesight. * * * Never again may I salute thee, nor hear thy
converse; never again, O brother, more loved than life, may I see thee in
aftertime. But for all time in truth will I love thee, always will I sing
elegies made gloomy by thy death, such as the Daulian bird pipes 'neath
densest shades of foliage, lamenting the lot of slain Itys.) Yet 'midst
sorrows so deep, O Ortalus, I send thee these verses re-cast from
Battiades, lest thou shouldst credit thy words by chance have slipt from my
mind, given o'er to the wandering winds, as 'twas with that apple, sent as
furtive love-token by the wooer, which outleapt from the virgin's chaste
bosom; for, placed by the hapless girl 'neath her soft vestment, and
forgotten,--when she starts at her mother's approach, out 'tis shaken: and
down it rolls headlong to the ground, whilst a tell-tale flush mantles the
face of the distressed girl.


  Omnia qui magni dispexit lumina mundi,
    Qui stellarum ortus comperit atque obitus,
  Flammeus ut rapidi solis nitor obscuretur,
    Vt cedant certis sidera temporibus,
  Vt Triviam furtim sub Latmia saxa relegans                     5
    Dulcis amor gyro devocet aerio,
  Idem me ille Conon caelesti in lumine vidit
    E Beroniceo vertice caesariem
  Fulgentem clare, quam cunctis illa deorum
    Levia protendens brachia pollicitast,                       10
  Qua rex tempestate novo auctus hymenaeo
    Vastatum finis iverat Assyrios,
  Dulcia nocturnae portans vestigia rixae,
    Quam de virgineis gesserat exuviis.
  Estne novis nuptis odio venus? anne parentum                  15
    Frustrantur falsis gaudia lacrimulis,
  Vbertim thalami quas intra lumina fundunt?
    Non, ita me divi, vera gemunt, iuerint.
  Id mea me multis docuit regina querellis
    Invisente novo praelia torva viro.                          20
  An tu non orbum luxti deserta cubile,
    Sed fratris cari flebile discidium?
  Quam penitus maestas excedit cura medullas!
    Vt tibi tum toto pectore sollicitae
  Sensibus ereptis mens excidit! at te ego certe                25
    Cognoram a parva virgine magnanimam.
  Anne bonum oblita's facinus, quo regium adepta's
    Coniugium, quo non fortius ausit alis?
  Sed tum maesta virum mittens quae verba locuta's!
    Iuppiter, ut tristi lumina saepe manu!                      30
  Quis te mutavit tantus deus? an quod amantes
    Non longe a caro corpore abesse volunt?
  Atque ibi me cunctis pro dulci coniuge divis
    Non sine taurino sanguine pollicita's
  Sei reditum tetullisset. is haut in tempore longo             35
    Captam Asiam Aegypti finibus addiderat.
  Quis ego pro factis caelesti reddita coetu
    Pristina vota novo munere dissoluo.
  Invita, o regina, tuo de vertice cessi,
    Invita: adiuro teque tuomque caput,                         40
  Digna ferat quod siquis inaniter adiurarit:
    Sed qui se ferro postulet esse parem?
  Ille quoque eversus mons est, quem maximum in orbi
    Progenies Thiae clara supervehitur,
  Cum Medi peperere novom mare, cumque inventus                 45
    Per medium classi barbara navit Athon.
  Quid facient crines, cum ferro talia cedant?
    Iuppiter, ut Chalybon omne genus pereat,
  Et qui principio sub terra quaerere venas
    Institit ac ferri frangere duritiem!                        50
  Abiunctae paulo ante comae mea fata sorores
    Lugebant, cum se Memnonis Aethiopis
  Vnigena inpellens nictantibus aera pennis
    Obtulit Arsinoes Locridos ales equos,
  Isque per aetherias me tollens avolat umbras                  55
    Et Veneris casto collocat in gremio.
  Ipsa suum Zephyritis eo famulum legarat,
    Graia Canopieis incola litoribus.
  + Hi dii ven ibi vario ne solum in lumine caeli
    Ex Ariadneis aurea temporibus                               60
  Fixa corona foret, sed nos quoque fulgeremus
    Devotae flavi verticis exuviae,
  Vvidulam a fletu cedentem ad templa deum me
    Sidus in antiquis diva novom posuit:
  Virginis et saevi contingens namque Leonis                    65
    Lumina, Callisto iuncta Lycaoniae,
  Vertor in occasum, tardum dux ante Booten,
    Qui vix sero alto mergitur Oceano.
  Sed quamquam me nocte premunt vestigia divom,
    Lux autem canae Tethyi restituit,                           70
  (Pace tua fari hic liceat, Rhamnusia virgo,
    Namque ego non ullo vera timore tegam,
  Nec si me infestis discerpent sidera dictis,
    Condita quin verei pectoris evoluam):
  Non his tam laetor rebus, quam me afore semper,               75
    Afore me a dominae vertice discrucior,
  Quicum ego, dum virgo curis fuit omnibus expers,
    Vnguenti Suriei milia multa bibi.
  Nunc vos, optato quom iunxit lumine taeda,
    Non prius unanimis corpora coniugibus                       80
  Tradite nudantes reiecta veste papillas,
    Quam iocunda mihi munera libet onyx,
  Voster onyx, casto petitis quae iura cubili.
    Sed quae se inpuro dedit adulterio,
  Illius a mala dona levis bibat irrita pulvis:                 85
    Namque ego ab indignis praemia nulla peto.
  Sed magis, o nuptae, semper concordia vostras
    Semper amor sedes incolat adsiduos.
  Tu vero, regina, tuens cum sidera divam
    Placabis festis luminibus Venerem,                          90
  Vnguinis expertem non siris esse tuam me,
    Sed potius largis adfice muneribus.
  Sidera corruerent utinam! coma regia fiam:
    Proximus Hydrochoi fulgeret Oarion!



  He who every light of the sky world's vastness inspected,
    He who mastered in mind risings and settings of stars,
  How of the fast rising sun obscured be the fiery splendours,
    How at the seasons assured vanish the planets from view,
  How Diana to lurk thief-like 'neath Latmian stonefields,       5
    Summoned by sweetness of Love, comes from her aëry gyre;
  That same Cónon espied among lights Celestial shining
    Me, Berenice's Hair, which, from her glorious head,
  Fulgent in brightness afar, to many a host of the Godheads
    Stretching her soft smooth arms she vowed to devoutly bestow,  10
  What time strengthened by joy of new-made wedlock the monarch
    Bounds of Assyrian land hurried to plunder and pill;
  Bearing of nightly strife new signs and traces delicious,
    Won in the war he waged virginal trophies to win.
  Loathsome is Venus to all new-paired? Else why be the parents'  15
    Pleasure frustrated aye by the false flow of tears
  Poured in profusion amid illuminate genial chamber?
    Nay not real the groans; ever so help me the Gods!
  This truth taught me my Queen by force of manifold 'plainings
    After her new groom hied facing the fierceness of fight.    20
  Yet so thou mournedst not for a bed deserted of husband,
    As for a brother beloved wending on woefullest way?
  How was the marrow of thee consumedly wasted by sorrow!
    So clean forth of thy breast, rackt with solicitous care,
  Mind fled, sense being reft! But I have known thee for certain  25
    E'en from young virginal years lofty of spirit to be.
  Hast thou forgotten the feat whose greatness won thee a royal
    Marriage--a deed so prow, never a prower was dared?
  Yet how sad was the speech thou spakest, thy husband farewelling!
    (Jupiter!) Often thine eyes wiping with sorrowful hand!     30
  What manner God so great thus changed thee? Is it that lovers
    Never will tarry afar parted from person beloved?
  Then unto every God on behalf of thy helpmate, thy sweeting,
    Me thou gavest in vow, not without bloodshed of bulls,
  If he be granted return, and long while nowise delaying,      35
    Captive Asia he add unto Egyptian bounds.
  Now for such causes I, enrolled in host of the Heavens,
    By a new present, discharge promise thou madest of old:
  Maugrè my will, O Queen, my place on thy head I relinquished,
    Maugrè my will, I attest, swearing by thee and thy head;    40
  Penalty due shall befall whoso makes oath to no purpose.
    Yet who assumes the vaunt forceful as iron to be?
  E'en was that mount o'erthrown, though greatest in universe, where
    Thía's illustrious race speeded its voyage to end,
  Whenas the Medes brought forth new sea, and barbarous youth-hood  45
    Urged an Armada to swim traversing middle-Athos.
  What can be done by Hair when such things yield them to Iron?
    Jupiter! Grant Chalybon perish the whole of the race,
  Eke who in primal times ore seeking under the surface
    Showed th' example, and spalled iron however so hard.       50
  Shortly before I was shorn my sister tresses bewailèd
    Lot of me, e'en as the sole brother to Memnon the Black,
  Winnowing upper air wi' feathers flashing and quiv'ring,
    Chloris' wing-borne steed, came before Arsinoë,
  Whence upraising myself he flies through aëry shadows,        55
    And in chaste Venus' breast drops he the present he bears.
  Eke Zephyritis had sent, for the purpose trusted, her bondsman,
    Settler of Grecian strain on the Canopian strand.
  So willèd various Gods, lest sole 'mid lights of the Heavens
    Should Ariadne's crown taken from temples of her            60
  Glitter in gold, but we not less shine fulgent in splendour,
    We the consecrate spoils shed by a blond-hued head,
  Even as weeping-wet sought I the fanes of Celestials,
    Placed me the Goddess a new light amid starlights of old:
  For with Virgo in touch and joining the furious Lion's        65
    Radiance with Callisto, maid of Lycáon beloved,
  Wind I still to the west, conducting tardy Boötes,
    Who unwilling and slow must into Ocean merge.
  Yet though press me o'night the pacing footprints of Godheads,
    Tethys, hoary of hair, ever regains me by day.              70
  (Lend me thy leave to speak such words, Rhamnusian Virgin,
    Verities like unto these never in fear will I veil;
  Albeit every star asperse me with enemy's censure,
    Secrets in soothfast heart hoarded perforce I reveal.)
  Nowise gladdens me so this state as absence torments me,      75
    Absence doomèd for aye ta'en fro' my mistress's head,
  Where I was wont (though she such cares unknew in her girlhood)
    Many a thousand scents, Syrian unguents, to sip.
  Now do you pair conjoined by the longed-for light of the torches,
    Earlier yield not selves unto unanimous wills               80
  Nor wi' the dresses doft your barèd nipples encounter,
    Ere shall yon onyx-vase pour me libations glad,
  Onyx yours, ye that seek only rights of virtuous bed-rite.
    But who yieldeth herself unto advowtry impure,
  Ah! may her loathèd gifts in light dust uselessly soak,       85
    For of unworthy sprite never a gift I desire.
  Rather, O new-mated brides, be concord aye your companion,
    Ever let constant love dwell in the dwellings of you.
  Yet when thou sightest, O Queen, the Constellations, I pray thee,
    Every festal day Venus the Goddess appease;                 90
  Nor of thy unguent-gifts allow myself to be lacking,
    Nay, do thou rather add largeliest increase to boons.
  Would but the stars down fall! Could I of my Queen be the hair-lock,
    Neighbour to Hydrochois e'en let Oarion shine.

He who scanned all the lights of the great firmament, who ascertained the
rising and the setting of the stars, how the flaming splendour of the swift
sun was endarkened, how the planets disappear at certain seasons, how sweet
love with stealth detaining Trivia beneath the Latmian crags, draws her
away from her airy circuit, that same Conon saw me amongst celestial light,
the hair from Berenice's head, gleaming with brightness, which she
outstretching graceful arms did devote to the whole of the gods, when the
king flushed with the season of new wedlock had gone to lay waste the
Assyrian borders, bearing the sweet traces of nightly contests, in which he
had borne away her virginal spoils. Is Venus abhorred by new-made brides?
Why be the parents' joys turned aside by feigned tears, which they shed
copiously amid the lights of the nuptial chamber? Untrue are their groans,
by the gods I swear! This did my queen teach me by her many lamentings,
when her bridegroom set out for stern warfare. Yet thou didst not mourn the
widowhood of desolate couch, but the tearful separation from a dear
brother? How care made sad inroads in thy very marrow! In so much that
thine whole bosom being agitated, and thy senses being snatched from thee,
thy mind wandered! But in truth I have known thee great of heart ever since
thou wast a little maiden. Hast thou forgotten that noble deed, by which
thou didst gain a regal wedlock, than which none dared other deeds bolder?
Yet what grieving words didst thou speak when bidding thy bridegroom
farewell! Jupiter! as with sad hand often thine eyes thou didst dry! What
mighty god changed thee? Was it that lovers are unwilling to be long absent
from their dear one's body? Then didst thou devote me to the whole of the
gods on thy sweet consort's behalf, not without blood of bullocks, should
he be granted safe return. In no long time he added captive Asia to the
Egyptian boundaries. Wherefore for these reasons I, bestowed 'midst the
celestial host, by a new gift fulfil thine ancient promise. With grief, O
queen, did I quit thy brow, with grief: I swear to thee and to thine head;
fit ill befall whosoever shall swear lightly: but who may bear himself peer
with steel? Even that mountain was swept away, the greatest on earth, over
which Thia's illustrious progeny passed, when the Medes created a new sea,
and the barbarian youth sailed its fleet through the middle of Athos. What
can locks of hair do, when such things yield to iron? Jupiter! may the
whole race of the Chalybes perish, and whoever first questing the veins
'neath the earth harassed its hardness, breaking it through with iron. Just
before severance my sister locks were mourning my fate, when Ethiop
Memnon's brother, the winged steed, beating the air with fluttering
pennons, appeared before Locrian Arsinoe, and this one bearing me up, flies
through aethereal shadows and lays me in the chaste bosom of Venus. Him
Zephyritis herself had dispatched as her servant, a Grecian settler on the
Canopian shores. For 'twas the wish of many gods that not alone in heaven's
light should the golden coronet from Ariadne's temples stay fixed, but that
we also should gleam, the spoils devote from thy golden-yellow head; when
humid with weeping I entered the temples of the gods, the Goddess placed
me, a new star, amongst the ancient ones. For a-touching the Virgin's and
the fierce Lion's gleams, hard by Callisto of Lycaon, I turn westwards
fore-guiding the slow-moving Bootes who sinks unwillingly and late into the
vasty ocean. But although the footsteps of the gods o'erpress me in the
night-tide, and the daytime restoreth me to the white-haired Tethys, (grant
me thy grace to speak thus, O Rhamnusian virgin, for I will not hide the
truth through any fear, even if the stars revile me with ill words yet I
will unfold the pent-up feelings from truthful breast) I am not so much
rejoiced at these things as I am tortured by being for ever parted, parted
from my lady's head, with whom I (though whilst a virgin she was free from
all such cares) drank many a thousand of Syrian scents.

Now do you, whom the gladsome light of the wedding torches hath joined,
yield not your bodies to your desiring husbands nor throw aside your
vestments and bare your bosom's nipples, before your onyx cup brings me
jocund gifts, your onyx, ye who seek the dues of chaste marriage-bed. But
she who giveth herself to foul adultery, may the light-lying dust
responselessly drink her vile gifts, for I seek no offerings from folk that
do ill. But rather, O brides, may concord always be yours, and constant
love ever dwell in your homes. But when thou, O queen, whilst gazing at the
stars, shalt propitiate the goddess Venus with festal torch-lights, let not
me, thine own, be left lacking of unguent, but rather gladden me with large
gifts. Stars fall in confusion! So that I become a royal tress, Orion might
gleam in Aquarius' company.


  O dulci iocunda viro, iocunda parenti,
    Salve, teque bona Iuppiter auctet ope,
  Ianua, quam Balbo dicunt servisse benigne
    Olim, cum sedes ipse senex tenuit,
  Quamque ferunt rursus voto servisse maligno,                   5
    Postquam es porrecto facta marita sene.
  Dic agedum nobis, quare mutata feraris
    In dominum veterem deseruisse fidem.
  'Non (ita Caecilio placeam, cui tradita nunc sum)
    Culpa meast, quamquam dicitur esse mea,                     10
  Nec peccatum a me quisquam pote dicere quicquam:
    Verum istud populi fabula, Quinte, facit,
  Qui, quacumque aliquid reperitur non bene factum,
    Ad me omnes clamant: ianua, culpa tuast.'
  Non istuc satis est uno te dicere verbo,                      15
    Sed facere ut quivis sentiat et videat.
  'Qui possum? nemo quaerit nec scire laborat.'
    Nos volumus: nobis dicere ne dubita.
  'Primum igitur, virgo quod fertur tradita nobis,
    Falsumst. non illam vir prior attigerit,                    20
  Languidior tenera cui pendens sicula beta
    Numquam se mediam sustulit ad tunicam:
  Sed pater illius gnati violasse cubile
    Dicitur et miseram conscelerasse domum,
  Sive quod inpia mens caeco flagrabat amore,                   25
    Seu quod iners sterili semine natus erat,
  Et quaerendus is unde foret nervosius illud,
    Quod posset zonam solvere virgineam.'
  Egregium narras mira pietate parentem,
    Qui ipse sui gnati minxerit in gremium.                     30
  Atqui non solum hoc se dicit cognitum habere
    Brixia Cycneae supposita speculae,
  Flavos quam molli percurrit flumine Mella,
    Brixia Veronae mater amata meae.
  'Et de Postumio et Corneli narrat amore,                      35
    Cum quibus illa malum fecit adulterium.'
  Dixerit hic aliquis: qui tu isthaec, ianua, nosti?
    Cui numquam domini limine abesse licet,
  Nec populum auscultare, sed heic suffixa tigillo
    Tantum operire soles aut aperire domum?                     40
  'Saepe illam audivi furtiva voce loquentem
    Solam cum ancillis haec sua flagitia,
  Nomine dicentem quos diximus, ut pote quae mi
    Speraret nec linguam esse nec auriculam.
  Praeterea addebat quendam, quem dicere nolo                   45
    Nomine, ne tollat rubra supercilia.
  Longus homost, magnas quoi lites intulit olim
    Falsum mendaci ventre puerperium.'




  O to the gentle spouse right dear, right dear to his parent,
    Hail, and with increase fair Jupiter lend thee his aid,
  Door, 'tis said wast fain kind service render to Balbus
    Erst while, long as the house by her old owner was held;
  Yet wast rumoured again to serve a purpose malignant,          5
    After the elder was stretched, thou being oped for a bride.
  Come, then, tell us the why in thee such change be reported
    That to thy lord hast abjured faithfulness owèd of old?


  Never (so chance I to please Cæcilius owning me now-a-days!)
    Is it my own default, how so they say it be mine;           10
  Nor can any declare aught sin by me was committed.
    Yet it is so declared (Quintus!) by fable of folk;
  Who, whenever they find things done no better than should be,
    Come to me outcrying all:--"Door, the default is thine own!"


  This be never enough for thee one-worded to utter,            15
    But in such way to deal, each and all sense it and see.


  What shall I do? None asks, while nobody troubles to know.


    Willing are we? unto us stay not thy saying to say.


  First let me note that the maid to us committed (assert they)
    Was but a fraud: her mate never a touch of her had,         20
      *    *    *    *
      *    *    *    *
  But that a father durst dishonour the bed of his firstborn,
    Folk all swear, and the house hapless with incest bewray;
  Or that his impious mind was blunt with fiery passion         25
    Or that his impotent son sprang from incapable seed.
  And to be sought was one with nerve more nervous endowèd,
    Who could better avail zone of the virgin to loose.


  'Sooth, of egregious sire for piety wondrous, thou tellest,
    Who in the heart of his son lief was ----!                  30
  Yet professed herself not only this to be knowing,
    Brixia-town that lies under the Cycnean cliff,
  Traversed by Mella-stream's soft-flowing yellow-hued current,
    Brixia, Vérona's mother, I love for my home.


  Eke of Posthumius' loves and Cornelius too there be tattle,   35
    With whom darèd the dame evil advowtry commit.


  Here might somebody ask:--"How, Door, hast mastered such matter?
    Thou that canst never avail threshold of owner to quit,
  Neither canst listen to folk since here fast fixt to the side-posts
    Only one office thou hast, shutting or opening the house."  40


  Oft have I heard our dame in furtive murmurs o'er telling,
    When with her handmaids alone, these her flagitious deeds,
  Citing fore-cited names for that she never could fancy
    Ever a Door was endow'd either with earlet or tongue.
  Further she noted a wight whose name in public to mention     45
    Nill I, lest he upraise eyebrows of carroty hue;
  Long is the loon and large the law-suit brought they against him
    Touching a child-bed false, claim of a belly that lied.


O dear in thought to the sweet husband, dear in thought to his sire, hail!
and may Jove augment his good grace to thee, Door! which of old, men say,
didst serve Balbus benignly, whilst the oldster held his home here; and
which contrariwise, so 'tis said, didst serve with grudging service after
the old man was stretched stark, thou doing service to the bride. Come,
tell us why thou art reported to be changed and to have renounced thine
ancient faithfulness to thy lord?


No, (so may I please Caecilius to whom I am now made over!) it is not my
fault, although 'tis said so to be, nor may anyone impute any crime to me;
albeit the fabling tongues of folk make it so, who, whene'er aught is found
not well done, all clamour at me: "Door, thine is the blame!"


It is not enough for thee to say this by words merely, but so to act that
everyone may feel it and see it.


In what way can I? No one questions or troubles to know.


We are wishful: be not doubtful to tell us.


First then, the virgin (so they called her!) who was handed to us was
spurious. Her husband was not the first to touch her, he whose little
dagger, hanging more limply than the tender beet, never raised itself to
the middle of his tunic: but his father is said to have violated his son's
bed and to have polluted the unhappy house, either because his lewd mind
blazed with blind lust, or because his impotent son was sprung from sterile
seed, and therefore one greater of nerve than he was needed, who could
unloose the virgin's zone.


Thou tellest of an excellent parent marvellous in piety, who himself urined
in the womb of his son!


But not this alone is Brixia said to have knowledge of, placed 'neath the
Cycnean peak, through which the golden-hued Mella flows with its gentle
current, Brixia, beloved mother of my Verona. For it talks of the loves of
Postumius and of Cornelius, with whom she committed foul adultery.


Folk might say here: "How knowest thou these things, O door? thou who art
never allowed absence from thy lord's threshold, nor mayst hear the folk's
gossip, but fixed to this beam art wont only to open or to shut the house!"


Often have I heard her talking with hushed voice, when alone with her
handmaids, about her iniquities, quoting by name those whom we have spoken
of, for she did not expect me to be gifted with either tongue or ear.
Moreover she added a certain one whose name I'm unwilling to speak, lest he
uplift his red eyebrows. A lanky fellow, against whom some time ago was
brought a grave law-suit anent the spurious child-birth of a lying belly.


  Quod mihi fortuna casuque oppressus acerbo
    Conscriptum hoc lacrimis mittis epistolium,
  Naufragum ut eiectum spumantibus aequoris undis
    Sublevem et a mortis limine restituam,
  Quem neque sancta Venus molli requiescere somno                5
    Desertum in lecto caelibe perpetitur,
  Nec veterum dulci scriptorum carmine Musae
    Oblectant, cum mens anxia pervigilat,
  Id gratumst mihi, me quoniam tibi dicis amicum,
    Muneraque et Musarum hinc petis et Veneris:                 10
  Sed tibi ne mea sint ignota incommoda, Mani,
    Neu me odisse putes hospitis officium,
  Accipe, quis merser fortunae fluctibus ipse,
    Ne amplius a misero dona beata petas.
  Tempore quo primum vestis mihi tradita purast,                15
    Iocundum cum aetas florida ver ageret,
  Multa satis lusi: non est dea nescia nostri,
    Quae dulcem curis miscet amaritiem:
  Sed totum hoc studium luctu fraterna mihi mors
    Abstulit. o misero frater adempte mihi,                     20
  Tu mea tu moriens fregisti commoda, frater,
    Tecum una totast nostra sepulta domus,
  Omnia tecum una perierunt gaudia nostra,
    Quae tuos in vita dulcis alebat amor.
  Cuius ego interitu tota de mente fugavi                       25
    Haec studia atque omnis delicias animi.
  Quare, quod scribis Veronae turpe Catullo
    Esse, quod hic quivis de meliore nota
  Frigida deserto tepefactet membra cubili,
    Id, Mani, non est turpe, magis miserumst.                   30
  Ignosces igitur, si, quae mihi luctus ademit,
    Haec tibi non tribuo munera, cum nequeo.
  Nam, quod scriptorum non magnast copia apud me,
    Hoc fit, quod Romae vivimus: illa domus,
  Illa mihi sedes, illic mea carpitur aetas:                    35
    Huc una ex multis capsula me sequitur.
  Quod cum ita sit, nolim statuas nos mente maligna
    Id facere aut animo non satis ingenuo,
  Quod tibi non utriusque petenti copia factast:
    Vltro ego deferrem, copia siqua foret.                      40
  Non possum reticere, deae, qua me Allius in re
    Iuverit aut quantis iuverit officiis:
  Nec fugiens saeclis obliviscentibus aetas
    Illius hoc caeca nocte tegat studium:
  Sed dicam vobis, vos porro dicite multis                      45
    Milibus et facite haec charta loquatur anus
      *    *    *    *
    Notescatque magis mortuos atque magis,
  Nec tenuem texens sublimis aranea telam
    In deserto Alli nomine opus faciat.                         50
  Nam, mihi quam dederit duplex Amathusia curam,
    Scitis, et in quo me corruerit genere,
  Cum tantum arderem quantum Trinacria rupes
    Lymphaque in Oetaeis Malia Thermopylis,
  Maesta neque adsiduo tabescere lumina fletu                   55
    Cessarent tristique imbre madere genae.
  Qualis in aerii perlucens vertice montis
    Rivos muscoso prosilit e lapide,
  Qui cum de prona praeceps est valle volutus,
    Per medium sensim transit iter populi,                      60
  Dulci viatori lasso in sudore levamen,
    Cum gravis exustos aestus hiulcat agros:
  Hic, velut in nigro iactatis turbine nautis
    Lenius aspirans aura secunda venit
  Iam prece Pollucis, iam Castoris inplorata,                   65
    Tale fuit nobis Manius auxilium.
  Is clusum lato patefecit limite campum,
    Isque domum nobis isque dedit dominam,
  Ad quam communes exerceremus amores.
    Quo mea se molli candida diva pede                          70
  Intulit et trito fulgentem in limine plantam
    Innixa arguta constituit solea,
  Coniugis ut quondam flagrans advenit amore
    Protesilaeam Laudamia domum
  Inceptam frustra, nondum cum sanguine sacro                   75
    Hostia caelestis pacificasset eros.
  Nil mihi tam valde placeat, Rhamnusia virgo,
    Quod temere invitis suscipiatur eris.
  Quam ieiuna pium desideret ara cruorem,
    Doctast amisso Laudamia viro,                               80
  Coniugis ante coacta novi dimittere collum,
    Quam veniens una atque altera rursus hiemps
  Noctibus in longis avidum saturasset amorem,
    Posset ut abrupto vivere coniugio,
  Quod scirant Parcae non longo tempore adesse,                 85
    Si miles muros isset ad Iliacos:
  Nam tum Helenae raptu primores Argivorum
    Coeperat ad sese Troia ciere viros,
  Troia (nefas) commune sepulcrum Asiae Europaeque,
    Troia virum et virtutum omnium acerba cinis,                90
  Quaene etiam nostro letum miserabile fratri
    Attulit. ei misero frater adempte mihi,
  Ei misero fratri iocundum lumen ademptum,
    Tecum una totast nostra sepulta domus,
  Omnia tecum una perierunt gaudia nostra,                      95
    Quae tuos in vita dulcis alebat amor.
  Quem nunc tam longe non inter nota sepulcra
    Nec prope cognatos conpositum cineres,
  Sed Troia obscaena, Troia infelice sepultum
    Detinet extremo terra aliena solo.                         100
  Ad quam tum properans fertur _simul_ undique pubes
    Graeca penetrales deseruisse focos,
  Ne Paris abducta gavisus libera moecha
    Otia pacato degeret in thalamo.
  Quo tibi tum casu, pulcherrima Laudamia,                     105
    Ereptumst vita dulcius atque anima
  Coniugium: tanto te absorbens vertice amoris
    Aestus in abruptum detulerat barathrum,
  Quale ferunt Grai Pheneum prope Cylleneum
    Siccare emulsa pingue palude solum,                        110
  Quod quondam caesis montis fodisse medullis
    Audit falsiparens Amphitryoniades,
  Tempore quo certa Stymphalia monstra sagitta
    Perculit imperio deterioris eri,
  Pluribus ut caeli tereretur ianua divis,                     115
    Hebe nec longa virginitate foret.
  Sed tuos altus amor barathro fuit altior illo,
    Qui durum domitam ferre iugum docuit:
  Nam nec tam carum confecto aetate parenti
    Vna caput seri nata nepotis alit,                          120
  Qui, cum divitiis vix tandem inventus avitis
    Nomen testatas intulit in tabulas,
  Inpia derisi gentilis gaudia tollens
    Suscitat a cano volturium capiti:
  Nec tantum niveo gavisast ulla columbo                       125
    Conpar, quae multo dicitur inprobius
  Oscula mordenti semper decerpere rostro,
    Quam quae praecipue multivolast mulier.
  Sed tu horum magnos vicisti sola furores,
    Vt semel es flavo conciliata viro.                         130
  Aut nihil aut paulo cui tum concedere digna
    Lux mea se nostrum contulit in gremium,
  Quam circumcursans hinc illinc saepe Cupido
    Fulgebat crocina candidus in tunica.
  Quae tamen etsi uno non est contenta Catullo,                135
    Rara verecundae furta feremus erae,
  Ne nimium simus stultorum more molesti.
    Saepe etiam Iuno, maxima caelicolum,
  Coniugis in culpa flagrantem conquoquit iram,
    Noscens omnivoli plurima furta Iovis.                      140
  Atquei nec divis homines conponier aequomst,
      *    *    *    *
      *    *    *    *
    Ingratum tremuli tolle parentis onus.
  Nec tamen illa mihi dextra deducta paterna
    Fragrantem Assyrio venit odore domum,
  Sed furtiva dedit muta munuscula nocte,                      145
    Ipsius ex ipso dempta viri gremio.
  Quare illud satis est, si nobis is datur unis,
    Quem lapide illa diem candidiore notat.
  Hoc tibi, qua potui, confectum carmine munus
    Pro multis, Alli, redditur officiis,                       150
  Ne vostrum scabra tangat rubigine nomen
    Haec atque illa dies atque alia atque alia.
  Huc addent divi quam plurima, quae Themis olim
    Antiquis solitast munera ferre piis:
  Sitis felices et tu simul et tua vita                        155
    Et domus, ipsi in qua lusimus et domina,
  Et qui principio nobis te tradidit Anser,
    A quo sunt primo mi omnia nata bona.
  Et longe ante omnes mihi quae me carior ipsost,
    Lux mea, qua viva vivere dulce mihist.                     160



  When to me sore opprest by bitter chance of misfortune
    This thy letter thou send'st written wi' blotting of tears,
  So might I save thee flung by spuming billows of ocean,
    Shipwreckt, rescuing life snatcht from the threshold of death;
  Eke neither Venus the Holy to rest in slumber's refreshment    5
    Grants thee her grace on couch lying deserted and lone,
  Nor can the Muses avail with dulcet song of old writers
    Ever delight thy mind sleepless in anxious care;
  Grateful be this to my thought since thus thy friend I'm entitled,
    Hence of me seekest thou gifts Muses and Venus can give:    10
  But that bide not unknown to thee my sorrows (O Manius!)
    And lest office of host I should be holden to hate,
  Learn how in Fortune's deeps I chance myself to be drownèd,
    Nor fro' the poor rich boons furthermore prithee require.
  What while first to myself the pure-white garment was given,  15
    Whenas my flowery years flowed in fruition of spring,
  Much I disported enow, nor 'bode I a stranger to Goddess
    Who with our cares is lief sweetness of bitter to mix:
  Yet did a brother's death pursuits like these to my sorrow
    Bid for me cease: Oh, snatcht brother! from wretchedest me.  20
  Then, yea, thou by thy dying hast broke my comfort, O brother;
    Buried together wi' thee lieth the whole of our house;
  Perisht along wi' thyself all gauds and joys of our life-tide,
    Douce love fostered by thee during the term of our days.
  After thy doom of death fro' mind I banishèd wholly           25
    Studies like these, and all lending a solace to soul;
  Wherefore as to thy writ:--"Verona's home for Catullus
    Bringeth him shame, for there men of superior mark
  Must on a deserted couch fain chafe their refrigerate limbs:"
    Such be no shame (Manius!): rather 'tis matter of ruth.     30
  Pardon me, then, wilt thou an gifts bereft me by grieving
    These I send not to thee since I avail not presènt.
  For, that I own not here abundant treasure of writings
    Has for its cause, in Rome dwell I; and there am I homed,
  There be my seat, and there my years are gathered to harvest;  35
    Out of book-cases galore here am I followed by one.
  This being thus, nill I thou deem 'tis spirit malignant
    Acts in such wise or mind lacking of liberal mood
  That to thy prayer both gifts be not in plenty supplièd:
    Willingly both had I sent, had I the needed supply.         40
  Nor can I (Goddesses!) hide in what things Allius sent me
    Aid, forbear to declare what was the aidance he deigned:
  Neither shall fugitive Time from centuries ever oblivious
    Veil in the blinds of night friendship he lavisht on me.
  But will I say unto you what you shall say to the many        45
    Thousands in turn, and make paper, old crone, to proclaim
      *    *    *    *
    And in his death become noted the more and the more,
  Nor let spider on high that weaves her delicate webbing
    Practise such labours o'er Allius' obsolete name.           50
  For that ye weet right well what care Amathúsia two-faced
    Gave me, and how she dasht every hope to the ground,
  Whenas I burnt so hot as burn Trinacria's rocks or
    Mallia stream that feeds Oetéan Thermopylæ;
  Nor did these saddened eyes to be dimmed by assiduous weeping  55
    Cease, and my cheeks with showers ever in sadness be wet.
  E'en as from aëry heights of mountain springeth a springlet
    Limpidest leaping forth from rocking felted with moss,
  Then having headlong rolled the prone-laid valley downpouring,
    Populous region amid wendeth his gradual way,               60
  Sweetest solace of all to the sweltering traveller wayworn,
    Whenas the heavy heat fissures the fiery fields;
  Or, as to seamen lost in night of whirlwind a-glooming
    Gentle of breath there comes fairest and favouring breeze,
  Pollux anon being prayed, nor less vows offered to Castor:--  65
    Such was the aidance to us Manius pleased to afford.
  He to my narrow domains far wider limits laid open,
    He too gave me the house, also he gave me the dame,
  She upon whom both might exert them, partners in love deeds.
    Thither graceful of gait pacing my goddess white-hued       70
  Came and with gleaming foot on the worn sole of the threshold
    Stood she and prest its slab creaking her sandals the while;
  E'en so with love enflamed in olden days to her helpmate,
    Laodamía the home Protesiléan besought,
  Sought, but in vain, for ne'er wi' sacrificial bloodshed      75
    Victims appeasèd the Lords ruling Celestial seats:
  Never may I so joy in aught (Rhamnusian Virgin!)
    That I engage in deed maugrè the will of the Lords.
  How starved altar can crave for gore in piety pourèd,
    Laodamia learnt taught by the loss of her man,              80
  Driven perforce to loose the neck of new-wedded help-mate,
    Whenas a winter had gone, nor other winter had come,
  Ere in the long dark nights her greeding love was so sated
    That she had power to live maugrè a marriage broke off,
  Which, as the Parcæ knew, too soon was fated to happen        85
    Should he a soldier sail bound for those Ilian walls.
  For that by Helena's rape, the Champion-leaders of Argives
    Unto herself to incite Troy had already begun,
  Troy (ah, curst be the name) common tomb of Asia and Europe,
    Troy to sad ashes that turned valour and valorous men!      90
  Eke to our brother beloved, destruction ever lamented
    Brought she: O Brother for aye lost unto wretchedmost me,
  Oh, to thy wretchedmost brother lost the light of his life-tide,
    Buried together wi' thee lieth the whole of our house:
  Perisht along wi' thyself forthright all joys we enjoyèd,     95
    Douce joys fed by thy love during the term of our days;
  Whom now art tombed so far nor 'mid familiar pavestones
    Nor wi' thine ashes stored near to thy kith and thy kin,
  But in that Troy obscene, that Troy of ill-omen, entombèd
    Holds thee, an alien earth-buried in uttermost bourne.     100
  Thither in haste so hot ('tis said) from allwhere the Youth-hood
    Grecian, farèd in hosts forth of their hearths and their homes,
  Lest with a stolen punk with fullest of pleasure should Paris
    Fairly at leisure and ease sleep in the pacific bed.
  Such was the hapless chance, most beautiful Laodamia,        105
    Tare fro' thee dearer than life, dearer than spirit itself,
  Him, that husband, whose love in so mighty a whirlpool of passion
    Whelmed thee absorbèd and plunged deep in its gulfy abyss,
  E'en as the Grecians tell hard by Phenéus of Cylléne
    Drained was the marish and dried, forming the fattest of soils,  110
  Whenas in days long done to delve through marrow of mountains
    Darèd, falsing his sire, Amphtryóniades;
  What time sure of his shafts he smote Stymphalian monsters
    Slaying their host at the hest dealt by a lord of less worth,
  So might the gateway of Heaven be trodden by more of the godheads,  115
    Nor might Hébé abide longer to maidenhood doomed.
  Yet was the depth of thy love far deeper than deepest of marish
    Which the hard mistress's yoke taught him so tamely to bear;
  Never was head so dear to a grandsire wasted by life-tide
    Whenas one daughter alone a grandson so tardy had reared,  120
  Who being found against hope to inherit riches of forbears
    In the well-witnessed Will haply by name did appear,
  And 'spite impious hopes of baffled claimant to kinship
    Startles the Vulturine grip clutching the frost-bitten poll.
  Nor with such rapture e'er joyed his mate of snowy-hued plumage  125
    Dove-mate, albeit aye wont in her immoderate heat
  Said be the bird to snatch hot kisses with beak ever billing,
    As diddest thou:--yet is Woman multivolent still.
  But thou 'vailedest alone all these to conquer in love-lowe,
    When conjoinèd once more unto thy yellow-haired spouse.    130
  Worthy of yielding to her in naught or ever so little
    Came to the bosom of us she, the fair light of my life,
  Round whom fluttering oft the Love-God hither and thither
    Shone with a candid sheen robed in his safflower dress.
  She though never she bide with one Catullus contented,       135
    Yet will I bear with the rare thefts of my dame the discreet,
  Lest over-irk I give which still of fools is the fashion.
    Often did Juno eke Queen of the Heavenly host
  Boil wi' the rabidest rage at dire default of a husband
    Learning the manifold thefts of her omnivolent Jove,       140
  Yet with the Gods mankind 'tis nowise righteous to liken,
      *    *    *    *
      *    *    *    *
    Rid me of graceless task fit for a tremulous sire.
  Yet was she never to me by hand paternal committed
    Whenas she came to my house reeking Assyrian scents;
  Nay, in the darkness of night her furtive favours she deigned me,  145
    Self-willed taking herself from very mate's very breast.
  Wherefore I hold it enough since given to us and us only
    Boon of that day with Stone whiter than wont she denotes.
  This to thee--all that I can--this offering couched in verses
    (Allius!) as my return give I for service galore;          150
  So wi' the seabriny rust your name may never be sullied
    This day and that nor yet other and other again.
  Hereto add may the Gods all good gifts, which Themis erewhiles
    Wont on the pious of old from her full store to bestow:
  Blest be the times of the twain, thyself and she who thy life is,  155
    Also the home wherein dallied we, no less the Dame,
  Anser to boot who first of mortals brought us together,
    Whence from beginning all good Fortunes that blest us were born.
  Lastly than every else one dearer than self and far dearer,
    Light of my life who alive living to me can endear.        160

That when, opprest by fortune and in grievous case, thou didst send me this
epistle o'erwrit with tears, that I might bear up shipwrecked thee tossed
by the foaming waves of the sea, and restore thee from the threshold of
death; thou whom neither sacred Venus suffers to repose in soft slumber,
desolate on a a lonely couch, nor do the Muses divert with the sweet song
of ancient poets, whilst thy anxious mind keeps vigil:--this is grateful to
me, since thou dost call me thy friend, and dost seek hither the gifts of
the Muses and of Venus. But that my troubles may not be unknown to thee, O
Manius, nor thou deem I shun the office of host, hear how I am whelmed in
the waves of that same fortune, nor further seek joyful gifts from a
wretched one. In that time when the white vestment was first handed to me,
and my florid age was passing in jocund spring, much did I sport enow: nor
was the goddess unknown to us who mixes bitter-sweet with our cares. But my
brother's death plunged all this pursuit into mourning. O brother, taken
from my unhappy self; thou by thy dying hast broken my ease, O brother; all
our house is buried with thee; with thee have perished the whole of our
joys, which thy sweet love nourished in thy lifetime. Thou lost, I have
dismissed wholly from mind these studies and every delight of mind.
Wherefore, as to what thou writest, "'Tis shameful for Catullus to be at
Verona, for there anyone of utmost note must chafe his frigid limbs on a
desolate couch;" that, Manius, is not shameful; rather 'tis a pity.
Therefore, do thou forgive, if what grief has snatched from me, these
gifts, I do not bestow on thee, because I am unable. For, that there is no
great store of writings with me arises from this, that we live at Rome:
there is my home, there is my hall, thither my time is passed; hither but
one of my book-cases follows me. As 'tis thus, I would not that thou deem
we act so from ill-will or from a mind not sufficiently ingenuous, that
ample store is not forthcoming to either of thy desires: both would I
grant, had I the wherewithal. Nor can I conceal, goddesses, in what way
Allius has aided me, or with how many good offices he has assisted me; nor
shall fleeting time with its forgetful centuries cover with night's
blindness this care of his. But I tell it to you, and do ye declare it to
many thousands, and make this paper, grown old, speak of it * * * * And let
him be more and more noted when dead, nor let the spider aloft, weaving her
thin-drawn web, carry on her work over the neglected name of Allius. For
you know what anxiety of mind wily Amathusia gave me, and in what manner
she overthrew me, when I was burning like the Trinacrian rocks, or the
Malian fount in Oetaean Thermopylae; nor did my piteous eyes cease to
dissolve with continual weeping, nor my cheeks with sad showers to be
bedewed. As the pellucid stream gushes forth from the moss-grown rock on
the aerial crest of the mountain, which when it has rolled headlong prone
down the valley, softly wends its way through the midst of the populous
parts, sweet solace to the wayfarer sweating with weariness, when the
oppressive heat cracks the burnt-up fields agape: or, as to sailors
tempest-tossed in black whirlpool, there cometh a favourable and a
gently-moving breeze, Pollux having been prayed anon, and Castor alike
implored: of such kind was Manius' help to us. He with a wider limit laid
open my closed field; he gave us a home and its mistress, on whom we both
might exercise our loves in common. Thither with gracious gait my
bright-hued goddess betook herself, and pressed her shining sole on the
worn threshold with creaking of sandal; as once came Laodamia, flaming with
love for her consort, to the home of Protesilaus,--a beginning of naught!
for not yet with sacred blood had a victim made propitiate the lords of the
heavens. May nothing please me so greatly, Rhamnusian virgin, that I should
act thus heedlessly against the will of those lords! How the thirsty altar
craves for sacrificial blood Laodamia was taught by the loss of her
husband, being compelled to abandon the neck of her new spouse when one
winter was past, before another winter had come, in whose long nights she
might so glut her greedy love, that she could have lived despite her broken
marriage-yoke, which the Parcae knew would not be long distant, if her
husband as soldier should fare to the Ilian walls. For by Helena's rape
Troy had begun to put the Argive Chiefs in the field; Troy accurst, the
common grave of Asia and of Europe, Troy, the sad ashes of heroes and of
every noble deed, that also lamentably brought death to our brother. O
brother taken from unhappy me! O jocund light taken from thy unhappy
brother! in thy one grave lies all our house, in thy one grave have
perished all our joys, which thy sweet love did nurture during life. Whom
now is laid so far away, not amongst familiar tombs nor near the ashes of
his kindred, but obscene Troy, malign Troy, an alien earth, holds thee
entombed in its remote soil. Thither, 'tis said, hastening together from
all parts, the Grecian manhood forsook their hearths and homes, lest Paris
enjoy his abducted trollop with freedom and leisure in a peaceful bed. Such
then was thy case, loveliest Laodamia, to be bereft of husband sweeter than
life, and than soul; thou being sucked in so great a whirlpool of love, its
eddy submerged thee in its steep abyss, like (so folk say) to the Graian
gulph near Pheneus of Cyllene with its fat swamp's soil drained and dried,
which aforetime the falsely-born Amphitryoniades dared to hew through the
marrow of cleft mountains, at the time when he smote down the Stymphalian
monsters with sure shafts by the command of his inferior lord, so that the
heavenly portal might be pressed by a greater number of deities, nor Hebe
longer remain in her virginity. But deeper than that abyss was thy deep
love which taught [thy husband] to bear his lady's forceful yoke. For not
so dear to the spent age of the grandsire is the late born grandchild an
only daughter rears, who, long-wished-for, at length inherits the ancestral
wealth, his name duly set down in the attested tablets; and casting afar
the impious hopes of the baffled next-of-kin, scares away the vulture from
the whitened head; nor so much does any dove-mate rejoice in her snow-white
consort (though, 'tis averred, more shameless than most in continually
plucking kisses with nibbling beak) as thou dost, though woman is
especially inconstant. But thou alone didst surpass the great frenzies of
these, when thou wast once united to thy yellow-haired husband. Worthy to
yield to whom in naught or in little, my light brought herself to my bosom,
round whom Cupid, often running hither thither, gleamed lustrous-white in
saffron-tinted tunic. Still although she is not content with Catullus
alone, we will suffer the rare frailties of our coy lady, lest we may be
too greatly unbearable, after the manner of fools. Often even Juno,
greatest of heaven-dwellers, boiled with flaring wrath at her husband's
default, wotting the host of frailties of all-wishful Jove. Yet 'tis not
meet to match men with the gods, * * * * bear up the ungrateful burden of a
tremulous parent. Yet she was not handed to me by a father's right hand
when she came to my house fragrant with Assyrian odour, but she gave me her
stealthy favours in the mute night, withdrawing of her own will from the
bosom of her spouse. Wherefore that is enough if to us alone she gives that
day which she marks with a whiter stone. This gift to thee, all that I can,
of verse completed, is requital, Allius, for many offices, so that this day
and that, and other and other of days may not tarnish your name with
scabrous rust. Hither may the gods add gifts full many, which Themis
aforetimes was wont to bear to the pious of old. May ye be happy, both thou
and thy life's-love together, and thy home in which we have sported, and
its mistress, and Anser who in the beginning brought thee to us, from whom
all my good fortunes were first born, and lastly she whose very self is
dearer to me than all these,--my light, whom living, 'tis sweet to me to


  Noli admirari, quare tibi femina nulla,
    Rufe, velit tenerum supposuisse femur,
  Non si illam rarae labefactes munere vestis
    Aut perluciduli deliciis lapidis.
  Laedit te quaedam mala fabula, qua tibi fertur                 5
    Valle sub alarum trux habitare caper.
  Hunc metuunt omnes. neque mirum: nam mala valdest
    Bestia, nec quicum bella puella cubet.
  Quare aut crudelem nasorum interfice pestem,
    Aut admirari desine cur fugiunt.                            10



  Wonder not blatantly why no woman shall ever be willing
    (Rufus!) her tender thigh under thyself to bestow,
  Not an thou tempt her full by bribes of the rarest garments,
    Or by the dear delights gems the pellucidest deal.
  Harms thee an ugly tale wherein of thee is recorded            5
    Horrible stench of the goat under thine arm-pits be lodged.
  All are in dread thereof; nor wonder this, for 'tis evil
    Beastie, nor damsel fair ever thereto shall succumb.
  So do thou either kill that cruel pest o' their noses,
    Or at their reason of flight blatantly wondering cease.     10

Be unwilling to wonder wherefore no woman, O Rufus, is wishful to place her
tender thigh 'neath thee, not even if thou dost tempt her by the gift of a
rare robe or by the delights of a crystal-clear gem. A certain ill tale
injures thee, that thou bearest housed in the valley of thine armpits a
grim goat. Hence everyone's fear. Nor be marvel: for 'tis an exceeding ill
beast, with whom no fair girl will sleep. Wherefore, either murder that
cruel plague of their noses, or cease to marvel why they fly?


  Nulli se dicit mulier mea nubere malle
    Quam mihi, non si se Iuppiter ipse petat.
  Dicit: sed mulier cupido quod dicit amanti,
    In vento et rapida scribere oportet aqua.



  Never, my woman oft says, with any of men will she mate be,
    Save wi' my own very self, ask her though Jupiter deign!
  Says she: but womanly words that are spoken to desireful lover
    Ought to be written on wind or upon water that runs.

No one, saith my lady, would she rather wed than myself, not even if
Jupiter's self crave her. Thus she saith! but what a woman tells an ardent
amourist ought fitly to be graven on the breezes and in running waters.


  Siquoi iure bono sacer alarum obstitit hircus,
    Aut siquem merito tarda podagra secat,
  Aemulus iste tuos, qui vostrum exercet amorem,
    Mirificost fato nactus utrumque malum,
  Nam quotiens futuit, totiens ulciscitur ambos:                 5
    Illam adfligit odore, ipse perit podagra.



  An of a goat-stink damned from armpits fusty one suffer,
    Or if a crippling gout worthily any one rack,
  'Tis that rival o' thine who lief in loves of you meddles,
    And, by a wondrous fate, gains him the twain of such ills.
  For that, oft as he ----, so oft that penance be two-fold;     5
    Stifles her stench of goat, he too is kilt by his gout.

If ever anyone was deservedly cursed with an atrocious goat-stench from
armpits, or if limping gout did justly gnaw one, 'tis thy rival, who
occupies himself with your love, and who has stumbled by the marvel of fate
on both these ills. For as oft as he swives, so oft is he taken vengeance
on by both; she he prostrates by his stink, he is slain by his gout.


  Dicebas quondam solum te nosse Catullum,
    Lesbia, nec prae me velle tenere Iovem.
  Dilexi tum te non tantum ut volgus amicam,
    Sed pater ut gnatos diligit et generos.
  Nunc te cognovi: quare etsi inpensius uror,                    5
    Multo mi tamen es vilior et levior.
  Qui potisest? inquis. quod amantem iniuria talis
    Cogit amare magis, sed bene velle minus.



  Wont thou to vaunt whilòme of knowing only Catullus
    (Lesbia!) nor to prefer Jupiter's self to myself.
  Then, too, I loved thee well, not as vulgar wretch his mistress
    But as a father his sons loves and his sons by the law.
  Now have I learnt thee aright; wherefor though burn I the hotter,  5
    Lighter and viler by far thou unto me hast become.
  "How can this be?" dost ask: 'tis that such injury ever
    Forces the hotter to love, also the less well to will.

Once thou didst profess to know but Catullus, Lesbia, nor wouldst hold Jove
before me. I loved thee then, not only as a churl his mistress, but as a
father loves his own sons and sons-in-law. Now I do know thee: wherefore if
more strongly I burn, thou art nevertheless to me far viler and of lighter
thought. How may this be? thou askest. Because such wrongs drive a lover to
greater passion, but to less wishes of welfare.


  Desine de quoquam quicquam bene velle mereri
    Aut aliquem fieri posse putare pium.
  Omnia sunt ingrata, nihil fecisse benigne
    _Prodest_, immo etiam taedet obestque magis
  Vt mihi, quem nemo gravius nec acerbius urget,                 5
    Quam modo qui me unum atque unicum amicum habuit.



  Cease thou of any to hope desirèd boon of well-willing,
    Or deem any shall prove pious and true to his dues.
  Waxes the world ingrate, no deed benevolent profits,
    Nay full oft it irks even offending the more:
  Such is my case whom none maltreats more grievously bitter,    5
    Than does the man that me held one and only to friend.

Cease thou to wish to merit well from anyone in aught, or to think any can
become honourable. All are ingrate, naught benign doth avail to aught, but
rather it doth irk and prove the greater ill: so with me, whom none doth
o'erpress more heavily nor more bitterly than he who a little while ago
held me his one and only friend.


  Gellius audierat patruom obiurgare solere,
    Siquis delicias diceret aut faceret.
  Hoc ne ipsi accideret, patrui perdepsuit ipsam
    Vxorem et patruom reddidit Harpocratem.
  Quod voluit fecit: nam, quamvis inrumet ipsum                  5
    Nunc patruom, verbum non faciet patruos.



  Wont was Gellius hear his uncle rich in reproaches,
    When any ventured aught wanton in word or in deed.
  Lest to him chance such befall, his uncle's consort seduced he,
    And of his uncle himself fashioned an Harpocrates.
  Whatso he willed did he; and nowdays albe his uncle            5
    ---- he, no word ever that uncle shall speak.

Gellius had heard that his uncle was wont to be wroth, if any spake of or
practised love-sportings. That this should not happen to him, he kneaded up
his uncle's wife herself, and made of his uncle a god of silence. Whatever
he wished, he did; for now, even if he irrumate his uncle's self, not a
word will that uncle murmur.


  Rufe mihi frustra ac nequiquam credite amico
    (Frustra? immo magno cum pretio atque malo),
  Sicine subrepsti mei, atque intestina perurens
    Ei misero eripuisti omnia nostra bona?
  Eripuisti, heu heu nostrae crudele venenum                     5
    Vitae, heu heu nostrae pestis amicitiae.
  Sed nunc id doleo, quod purae pura puellae
    Savia conminxit spurca saliva tua.
  Verum id non inpune feres: nam te omnia saecla
    Noscent, et qui sis fama loquetur anus.                     10



  Rufus, trusted as friend by me, so fruitlessly, vainly,
    (Vainly? nay to my bane and at a ruinous price!)
  Hast thou cajoled me thus, and enfiring innermost vitals,
    Ravished the whole of our good own'd by wretchedest me?
  Ravished; (alas and alas!) of our life thou cruellest cruel    5
    Venom, (alas and alas!) plague of our friendship and pest.
  Yet must I now lament that lips so pure of the purest
    Damsel, thy slaver foul soilèd with filthiest kiss.
  But ne'er hope to escape scot free; for thee shall all ages
    Know, and what thing thou be, Fame, the old crone, shall declare.  10

O Rufus, credited by me as a friend, wrongly and for naught, (wrongly? nay,
at an ill and grievous price) hast thou thus stolen upon me, and a-burning
my innermost bowels, snatched from wretched me all our good? Thou hast
snatched it, alas, alas, thou cruel venom of our life! alas, alas, thou
plague of our amity. But now 'tis grief, that thy swinish slaver has soiled
the pure love-kisses of our pure girl. But in truth thou shalt not come off
with impunity; for every age shall know thee, and Fame the aged, shall
denounce what thou art.


  Gallus habet fratres, quorumst lepidissima coniunx
    Alterius, lepidus filius alterius.
  Gallus homost bellus: nam dulces iungit amores,
    Cum puero ut bello bella puella cubet.
  Gallus homost stultus nec se videt esse maritum,               5
    Qui patruos patrui monstret adulterium.



  Gallus hath brothers in pair, this owning most beautiful consort,
    While unto that is given also a beautiful son.
  Gallus is charming as man; for sweet loves ever conjoins he,
    So that the charming lad sleep wi' the charmer his lass.
  Gallus is foolish wight, nor self regards he as husband,       5
    When being uncle how nuncle to cuckold he show.

Gallus has brothers, one of whom has a most charming spouse, the other a
charming son. Gallus is a nice fellow! for pandering to their sweet loves,
he beds together the nice lad and the nice aunt. Gallus is a foolish fellow
not to see that he is himself a husband who as an uncle shews how to
cuckold an uncle.


  Lesbius est pulcher: quid ni? quem Lesbia malit
    Quam te cum tota gente, Catulle, tua.
  Sed tamen hic pulcher vendat cum gente Catullum,
    Si tria notorum savia reppererit.



  Lesbius is beauty-man: why not? when Lesbia wills him
    Better, Catullus, than thee backed by the whole of thy clan.
  Yet may that beauty-man sell all his clan with Catullus,
    An of three noted names greeting salute he can gain.

Lesbius is handsome: why not so? when Lesbia prefers him to thee, Catullus,
and to thy whole tribe. Yet this handsome one may sell Catullus and his
tribe if from three men of note he can gain kisses of salute.


  Quid dicam, Gelli, quare rosea ista labella
    Hiberna fiant candidiora nive,
  Mane domo cum exis et cum te octava quiete
    E molli longo suscitat hora die?
  Nescioquid certest: an vere fama susurrat                      5
    Grandia te medii tenta vorare viri?
  Sic certest: clamant Victoris rupta miselli
    Ilia, et emulso labra notata sero.



  How shall I (Gellius!) tell what way lips rosy as thine are
    Come to be bleached and blanched whiter than wintry snow,
  Whenas thou quittest the house a-morn, and at two after noon-tide
    Rousèd from quiet repose, wakest for length of the day?
  Certès sure am I not an Rumour rightfully whisper              5
      *    *    *    *
      *    *    *    *
      *    *    *    *

What shall I say, Gellius, wherefore those lips, erstwhile rosy-red, have
become whiter than wintery snow, thou leaving home at morn and when the
noontide hour arouses thee from soothing slumber to face the longsome day?
I know not forsure! but is Rumour gone astray with her whisper that thou
devourest the well-grown tenseness of a man's middle? So forsure it must
be! the ruptured guts of wretched Virro cry it aloud, and thy lips marked
with lately-drained [Greek: semen] publish the fact.


  Nemone in tanto potuit populo esse, Iuventi,
    Bellus homo, quem tu diligere inciperes,
  Praeterquam iste tuus moribunda a sede Pisauri
    Hospes inaurata pallidior statua,
  Qui tibi nunc cordist, quem tu praeponere nobis                5
    Audes, et nescis quod facinus facias.



  Could there never be found in folk so thronging (Juventius!)
    Any one charming thee whom thou couldst fancy to love,
  Save and except that host from deadliest site of Pisaurum,
    Wight than a statue gilt wanner and yellower-hued,
  Whom to thy heart thou takest and whom thou darest before us   5
    Choose? But villain what deed doest thou little canst wot!

Could there be no one in so great a crowd, Juventius, no gallant whom thou
couldst fall to admiring, beyond him, the guest of thy hearth from moribund
Pisaurum, wanner than a gilded statue? Who now is in thine heart, whom thou
darest to place above us, and knowest not what crime thou dost commit.


  Quinti, si tibi vis oculos debere Catullum
    Aut aliud siquid carius est oculis,
  Eripere ei noli, multo quod carius illi
    Est oculis seu quid carius est oculis.



  Quintius! an thou wish that Catullus should owe thee his eyes
    Or aught further if aught dearer can be than his eyes,
  Thou wilt not ravish from him what deems he dearer and nearer
    E'en than his eyes if aught dearer there be than his eyes.

Quintius, if thou dost wish Catullus to owe his eyes to thee, or aught, if
such may be, dearer than his eyes, be unwilling to snatch from him what is
much dearer to him than his eyes, or than aught which itself may be dearer
to him than his eyes.


  Lesbia mi praesente viro mala plurima dicit:
    Haec illi fatuo maxima laetitiast.
  Mule, nihil sentis. si nostri oblita taceret,
    Sana esset: nunc quod gannit et obloquitur,
  Non solum meminit, sed quae multo acrior est res               5
    Iratast. Hoc est, uritur et coquitur.



  Lesbia heaps upon me foul words her mate being present;
    Which to that simple soul causes the fullest delight.
  Mule! naught sensest thou: did she forget us in silence,
    Whole she had been; but now whatso she rails and she snarls,
  Not only dwells in her thought, but worse and even more risky,  5
    Wrathful she bides. Which means, she is afire and she fumes.

Lesbia in her lord's presence says the utmost ill about me: this gives the
greatest pleasure to that ninny. Ass, thou hast no sense! if through
forgetfulness she were silent about us, it would be well: now that she
snarls and scolds, not only does she remember, but what is a far bitterer
thing, she is enraged. That is, she inflames herself and ripens her


  Chommoda dicebat, si quando commoda vellet
    Dicere, et insidias Arrius hinsidias,
  Et tum mirifice sperabat se esse locutum,
    Cum quantum poterat dixerat hinsidias.
  Credo, sic mater, sic Liber avonculus eius,                    5
    Sic maternus avos dixerat atque avia.
  Hoc misso in Syriam requierant omnibus aures:
    Audibant eadem haec leniter et leviter,
  Nec sibi postilla metuebant talia verba,
    Cum subito adfertur nuntius horribilis,                     10
  Ionios fluctus, postquam illuc Arrius isset,
    Iam non Ionios esse, sed Hionios.



  Wont is Arrius say "Chommodious" whenas "commodious"
    Means he, and "Insidious" aspirate "Hinsidious,"
  What time flattering self he speaks with marvellous purity,
    Clamouring "Hinsidious" loudly as ever he can.
  Deem I thus did his dame and thus-wise Liber his uncle         5
    Speak, and on spindle-side grandsire and grandmother too.
  Restful reposed all ears when he was sent into Syria,
    Hearing the self-same words softly and smoothly pronouncèd,
  Nor any feared to hear such harshness uttered thereafter,
    Whenas a sudden came message of horrible news,              10
  Namely th' Ionian waves when Arrius thither had wended,
    Were "Ionian" no more--they had "Hionian" become.

_Chommodious_ did Arrius say, whenever he had need to say commodious, and
for insidious _hinsidious_, and felt confident he spoke with accent
wondrous fine, when aspirating _hinsidious_ to the full of his lungs. I
understand that his mother, his uncle Liber, his maternal grand-parents all
spoke thus. He being sent into Syria, everyone's ears were rested, hearing
these words spoken smoothly and slightly, nor after that did folk fear such
words from him, when on a sudden is brought the nauseous news that th'
Ionian waves, after Arrius' arrival thither, no longer are Ionian hight,
but are now the _Hionian Hocean_.


  Odi et amo. quare id faciam, fortasse requiris.
    Nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.



  Hate I, and love I. Haps thou'lt ask me wherefore I do so.
    Wot I not, yet so I do feeling a torture of pain.

I hate and I love. Wherefore do I so, peradventure thou askest. I know not,
but I feel it to be thus and I suffer.


  Quintia formosast multis, mihi candida, longa,
    Rectast. haec ego sic singula confiteor,
  Totum illud formosa nego: nam nulla venustas,
    Nulla in tam magnost corpore mica salis.
  Lesbia formosast, quae cum pulcherrima totast,                 5
    Tum omnibus una omnes surripuit Veneres.



  Quintia beautiful seems to the crowd; to me, fair, and tall,
    Straight; and merits as these readily thus I confess,
  But that she is beauteous all I deny, for nothing of lovesome,
    Never a grain of salt, shows in her person so large.
  Lesbia beautiful seems, and when all over she's fairest,       5
    Any Venus-gift stole she from every one.

Quintia is lovely to many; to me she is fair, tall, and shapely. Each of
these qualities I grant. But that all these make loveliness I deny: for
nothing of beauty nor scintilla of sprightliness is in her body so massive.
Lesbia is lovely, for whilst the whole of her is most beautiful, she has
stolen for herself every love-charm from all her sex.


  Nulla potest mulier tantum se dicere amatam
    Vere, quantum a me Lesbia amata mea's.
  Nulla fides ullo fuit umquam foedere tanta,
    Quanta in amore tuo ex parte reperta meast.
  Nunc est mens diducta tua, mea Lesbia, culpa,               LXXV
    Atque ita se officio perdidit ipsa suo,
  Vt iam nec bene velle queat tibi, si optima fias,
    Nec desistere amare, omnia si facias.



  Never a woman could call herself so fondly belovèd
    Truly as Lesbia mine has been beloved of myself.
  Never were Truth and Faith so firm in any one compact
    As on the part of me kept I my love to thyself.
  Now is my mind to a pass, my Lesbia, brought by thy treason,    LXXV
    So in devotion to thee lost is the duty self due,
  Nor can I will thee well if best of women thou prove thee,
    Nor can I cease to love, do thou what doings thou wilt.

No woman can say with truth that she has been loved as much as thou,
Lesbia, hast been loved by me: no love-troth was ever so greatly observed
as in love of thee on my part has been found.

Now is my mind so led apart, my Lesbia, by thy fault, and has so lost
itself by its very worship, that now it can not wish well to thee, wert
thou to become most perfect, nor cease to love thee, do what thou wilt!


  Siqua recordanti benefacta priora voluptas
    Est homini, cum se cogitat esse pium,
  Nec sanctam violasse fidem, nec foedere in ullo
    Divom ad fallendos numine abusum homines,
  Multa parata manent in longa aetate, Catulle,                  5
    Ex hoc ingrato gaudia amore tibi.
  Nam quaecumque homines bene cuiquam aut dicere possunt
    Aut facere, haec a te dictaque factaque sunt;
  Omniaque ingratae perierunt credita menti.
    Quare iam te cur amplius excrucies?                         10
  Quin tu animo offirmas atque istinc teque reducis
    Et dis invitis desinis esse miser?
  Difficilest longum subito deponere amorem.
    Difficilest, verum hoc quae lubet efficias.
  Vna salus haec est, hoc est tibi pervincendum:                15
    Hoc facias, sive id non pote sive pote.
  O di, si vestrumst misereri, aut si quibus umquam
    Extremam iam ipsa morte tulistis opem,
  Me miserum aspicite (et, si vitam puriter egi,
    Eripite hanc pestem perniciemque mihi),                     20
  Ei mihi surrepens imos ut torpor in artus
    Expulit ex omni pectore laetitias.
  Non iam illud quaero, contra me ut diligat illa,
    Aut, quod non potisest, esse pudica velit:
  Ipse valere opto et taetrum hunc deponere morbum.             25
    O di, reddite mi hoc pro pietate mea.



  If to remember deeds whilòme well done be a pleasure
    Meet for a man who deems all of his dealings be just,
  Nor Holy Faith ever broke nor in whatever his compact
    Sanction of Gods abused better to swindle mankind,
  Much there remains for thee during length of living, Catullus,  5
    Out of that Love ingrate further to solace thy soul;
  For whatever of good can mortal declare of another
    Or can avail he do, such thou hast said and hast done;
  While to a thankless mind entrusted all of them perisht.
    Why, then, crucify self now with a furthering pain?         10
  Why not steady thy thoughts and draw thee back from such purpose,
    Ceasing wretched to be maugrè the will of the Gods?
  Difficult 'tis indeed long Love to depose of a sudden,
    Difficult 'tis, yet do e'en as thou deem to be best.
  This be thy safe-guard sole; this conquest needs to be conquered;  15
    This thou must do, thus act, whether thou cannot or can.
  If an ye have (O Gods!) aught ruth, or if you for any
    Bring at the moment of death latest assistance to man,
  Look upon me (poor me!) and, should I be cleanly of living,
    Out of my life deign pluck this my so pestilent plague,     20
  Which as a lethargy o'er mine inmost vitals a-creeping,
    Hath from my bosom expelled all of what joyance it joyed,
  Now will I crave no more she love me e'en as I love her,
    Nor (impossible chance!) ever she prove herself chaste:
  Would I were only healed and shed this fulsome disorder.      25
    Oh Gods, grant me this boon unto my piety due!

If to recall good deeds erewhiles performed be pleasure to a man, when he
knows himself to be of probity, nor has violated sacred faith, nor has
abused the holy assent of the gods in any pact, to work ill to men; great
store of joys awaits thee during thy length of years, O Catullus, sprung
from this ingrate love of thine. For whatever of benefit men can say or can
do for anyone, such have been thy sayings and thy doings, and all thy
confidences have been squandered on an ingrate mind. Wherefore now dost
torture thyself further? Why not make firm thy heart and withdraw thyself
from that [wretchedness], and cease to be unhappy despite the gods' will?
'Tis difficult quickly to depose a love of long growth; 'tis difficult, yet
it behoves thee to do this. This is thine only salvation, this is thy great
victory; this thou must do, whether it be possible or impossible. O gods,
if 'tis in you to have mercy, or if ever ye held forth help to men in
death's very extremity, look ye on pitiful me, and if I have acted my life
with purity, snatch hence from me this canker and pest, which as a lethargy
creeping through my veins and vitals, has cast out every gladness from my
breast. Now I no longer pray that she may love me in return, or (what is
not possible) that she should become chaste: I wish but for health and to
cast aside this shameful complaint. O ye gods, vouchsafe me this in return
for my probity.


  Quid facit is, Gelli, qui cum matre atque sorore
    Prurit et abiectis pervigilat tunicis?
  Quid facit is, patruom qui non sinit esse maritum?
    Ecqui scis quantum suscipiat sceleris?
  Suscipit, o Gelli, quantum non ultima Tethys                   5
    Nec genitor lympharum abluit Oceanus:
  Nam nihil est quicquam sceleris, quo prodeat ultra,
    Non si demisso se ipse voret capite.



  What may he (Gellius!) do that ever for mother and sister
    Itches and wakes thro' the nights, working wi' tunic bedoffed?
  What may he do who nills his uncle ever be husband?
    Wottest thou how much he ventures of sacrilege-sin?
  Ventures he (O Gellius!) what ne'er can ultimate Tethys        5
    Wash from his soul, nor yet Ocean, watery sire.
  For that of sin there's naught wherewith this sin can exceed he
    ---- his head on himself.

What does he, Gellius, who with mother and sister itches and keeps vigils
with tunics cast aside? What does he, who suffers not his uncle to be a
husband? Dost thou know the weight of crime he takes upon himself? He
takes, O Gellius, such store as not furthest Tethys nor Oceanus, progenitor
of waters, can cleanse: for there is nothing of any crime which can go
further, not though with lowered head he swallow himself.


  Gellius est tenuis: quid ni? cui tam bona mater
    Tamque valens vivat tamque venusta soror
  Tamque bonus patruos tamque omnia plena puellis
    Cognatis, quare is desinat esse macer?
  Qui ut nihil attingit, nisi quod fas tangere non est,          5
    Quantumvis quare sit macer invenies.



  Gellius is lean: Why not? For him so easy a mother
    Lives, and a sister so boon, bonny and buxom to boot,
  Uncle so kindly good and all things full of his lady-
    Cousins, how can he cease leanest of lankies to be?
  Albeit, touch he naught save that whose touch is a scandal,    5
    Soon shall thou find wherefor he be as lean as thou like.

Gellius is meagre: why not? He who lives with so good a mother, so healthy
and so beauteous a sister, and who has such a good uncle, and a world-*full
of girl cousins, wherefore should he leave off being lean? Though he touch
naught save what is banned, thou canst find ample reason wherefore he may
stay lean.


  Nascatur magus ex Gelli matrisque nefando
    Coniugio et discat Persicum aruspicium:
  Nam magus ex matre et gnato gignatur oportet,
    Si verast Persarum inpia relligio,
  Navos ut accepto veneretur carmine divos                       5
    Omentum in flamma pingue liquefaciens.



  Born be a Magus, got by Gellius out of his mother
    (Marriage nefand!) who shall Persian augury learn.
  Needs it a Magus begot of son upon mother who bare him,
    If that impious faith, Persian religion be fact,
  So may their issue adore busy gods with recognised verses      5
    Melting in altar-flame fatness contained by the caul.

Let there be born a Magian from the infamous conjoining of Gellius and his
mother, and he shall learn the Persian aruspicy. For a Magian from a mother
and son must needs be begotten, if there be truth in Persia's vile creed
that one may worship with acceptable hymn the assiduous gods, whilst the
caul's fat in the sacred flame is melting.


  Non ideo, Gelli, sperabam te mihi fidum
    In misero hoc nostro, hoc perdito amore fore,
  Quod te cognossem bene constantemve putarem
    Aut posse a turpi mentem inhibere probro,
  Sed neque quod matrem nec germanam esse videbam                5
    Hanc tibi, cuius me magnus edebat amor.
  Et quamvis tecum multo coniungerer usu,
    Non satis id causae credideram esse tibi.
  Tu satis id duxti: tantum tibi gaudium in omni
    Culpast, in quacumque est aliquid sceleris.                 10



  Not for due cause I hoped to find thee (Gellius!) faithful
    In this saddest our love, love that is lost and forlore,
  Or fro' my wotting thee well or ever believing thee constant,
    Or that thy mind could reject villany ever so vile,
  But that because was she to thyself nor mother nor sister,     5
    This same damsel whose Love me in its greatness devoured.
  Yet though I had been joined wi' thee by amplest of usance,
    Still could I never believe this was sufficient of cause.
  Thou diddest deem it suffice: so great is thy pleasure in every
    Crime wherein may be found somewhat enormous of guilt.      10

Not for other reason, Gellius, did I hope for thy faith to me in this our
unhappy, this our desperate love (because I knew thee well nor thought thee
constant or able to restrain thy mind from shameless act), but that I saw
this girl was neither thy mother nor thy sister, for whom my ardent love
ate me. And although I have had many mutual dealings with thee, I did not
credit this case to be enough cause for thee. Thou didst find it enough: so
great is thy joy in every kind of guilt in which is something infamous.


  Lesbia mi dicit semper male nec tacet umquam
    De me: Lesbia me dispeream nisi amat.
  Quo signo? quia sunt + totidem mea: deprecor illam
    Absidue, verum dispeream nisi amo.



  Lesbia naggeth at me evermore and ne'er is she silent
    Touching myself: May I die but that by Lesbia I'm loved.
  What be the proof? I rail and retort like her and revile her
    Carefully, yet may I die but that I love her with love.

Lesbia forever speaks ill of me nor is ever silent anent me: may I perish
if Lesbia do not love me! By what sign? because I am just the same: I
malign her without cease, yet may I die if I do not love her in sober


  Nil nimium studeo Caesar tibi belle placere,
    Nec scire utrum sis albus an ater homo.



  Study I not o'ermuch to please thee (Cæsar!) and court thee,
    Nor do I care e'en to know an thou be white or be black.

I am not over anxious, Caesar, to please thee greatly, nor to know whether
thou art white or black man.


  Mentula moechatur.  moechatur mentula: certe.
    Hoc est, quod dicunt, ipsa olera olla legit.



  Mentula wooeth much: much wooeth he, be assured.
    That is, e'en as they say, the Pot gathers leeks for the pot.

Mentula whores. By the mentule he is be-whored: certes. This is as though
they say the oil pot itself gathers the olives.


  Zmyrna mei Cinnae nonam post denique messem
    Quam coeptast nonamque edita post hiemem,
  Milia cum interea quingenta Hortensius uno
      *    *    *    *
  Zmyrna cavas Satrachi penitus mittetur ad undas,               5
    Zmyrnam cana diu saecula pervoluent.
  At Volusi annales Paduam morientur ad ipsam
    Et laxas scombris saepe dabunt tunicas.
  Parva mei mihi sint cordi monumenta _sodalis_,
    At populus tumido gaudeat Antimacho.                        10



  "Zmyrna" begun erstwhile nine harvests past by my Cinna
    Publisht appears when now nine of his winters be gone;
  Thousands fifty of lines meanwhile Hortensius in single
      *    *    *    *
  "Zmyrna" shall travel afar as the hollow breakers of Satrax,   5
    "Zmyrna" by ages grey lastingly shall be perused.
  But upon Padus' brink shall die Volusius his annals
    And to the mackerel oft loose-fitting jacket afford.
  Dear to my heart are aye the lightest works of my comrade,
    Leave I the mob to enjoy tumidest Antimachus.               10

My Cinna's "Zmyrna" at length, after nine harvests from its inception, is
published when nine winters have gone by, whilst in the meantime Hortensius
thousands upon thousands in one * * * * "Zmyrna" shall wander abroad e'en
to the curving surf of Satrachus, hoary ages shall turn the leaves of
"Zmyrna" in distant days. But Volusius' Annals shall perish at Padua
itself, and shall often furnish loose wrappings for mackerel. The short
writings of my comrade are gladsome to my heart; let the populace rejoice
in bombastic Antimachus.


  Si quicquam mutis gratum acceptumve sepulcris
    Accidere a nostro, Calve, dolore potest,
  Quo desiderio veteres renovamus amores
    Atque olim missas flemus amicitias,
  Certe non tanto mors inmatura dolorist                         5
    Quintiliae, quantum gaudet amore tuo.



  If to the dumb deaf tomb can aught or grateful or pleasing
    (Calvus!) ever accrue rising from out of our dule,
  Wherewith yearning desire renews our loves in the bygone,
    And for long friendships lost many a tear must be shed;
  Certès, never so much for doom of premature death-day          5
    Must thy Quintilia mourn as she is joyed by thy love.

If aught grateful or acceptable can penetrate the silent graves from our
dolour, Calvus, when with sweet regret we renew old loves and beweep the
lost friendships of yore, of a surety not so much doth Quintilia mourn her
untimely death as she doth rejoice o'er thy constant love.


  Non (ita me di ament) quicquam referre putavi,
    Vtrumne os an culum olfacerem Aemilio.
  Nilo mundius hoc, niloque immundior ille,
    Verum etiam culus mundior et melior:
  Nam sine dentibus est: dentes os sesquipedales,                5
    Gingivas vero ploxeni habet veteris,
  Praeterea rictum qualem diffissus in aestu
    Meientis mulae cunnus habere solet.
  Hic futuit multas et se facit esse venustum,
    Et non pistrino traditur atque asino?                       10
  Quem siqua attingit, non illam posse putemus
    Aegroti culum lingere carnificis?



  Never (so love me the Gods!) deemed I 'twas preference matter
    Or Æmilius' mouth choose I to smell or his ----
  Nothing is this more clean, uncleaner nothing that other,
    Yet I ajudge ---- cleaner and nicer to be;
  For while this one lacks teeth, that one has cubit-long tushes,  5
    Set in their battered gums favouring a muddy old box,
  Not to say aught of gape like wide-cleft gap of a she-mule
    Whenas in summer-heat wont peradventure to stale.
  Yet has he many a motte and holds himself to be handsome--
    Why wi' the baker's ass is he not bound to the mill?        10
  Him if a damsel kiss we fain must think she be ready
    With her fair lips ----

Nay (may the Gods thus love me) have I thought there to be aught of choice
whether I might smell thy mouth or thy buttocks, O Aemilius. Nothing could
the one be cleaner, nothing the other more filthy; nay in truth thy
backside is the cleaner and better,--for it is toothless. Thy mouth hath
teeth full half a yard in length, gums of a verity like to an old
waggon-box, behind which its gape is such as hath the vulva of a she-mule
cleft apart by the summer's heat, always a-staling. This object swives
girls enow, and fancies himself a handsome fellow, and is not condemned to
the mill as an ass? Whatso girl would touch thee, we think her capable of
licking the breech of a leprous hangman.


  In te, si in quemquam, dici pote, putide Victi,
    Id quod verbosis dicitur et fatuis.
  Ista cum lingua, si usus veniat tibi, possis
    Culos et crepidas lingere carpatinas.
  Si nos omnino vis omnes perdere, Victi,                        5
    Hiscas: omnino quod cupis efficies.



  Rightly of thee may be said, an of any, (thou stinkingest Victius!)
    Whatso wont we to say touching the praters and prigs.
  Thou wi' that tongue o' thine own, if granted occasion availest
    Brogues of the cowherds to kiss, also their ----
  Wouldst thou undo us all with a thorough undoing (O Victius!)  5
    Open thy gape:--thereby all shall be wholly undone.

To thee, if to anyone, may I say, foul-mouthed Victius, that which is said
to wind bags and fatuities. For with that tongue, if need arrive, thou
couldst lick clodhoppers' shoes, clogs, and buttocks. If thou wishest to
destroy us all entirely, Victius, thou need'st but gape: thou wilt
accomplish what thou wishest entirely.


  Surripui tibi, dum ludis, mellite Iuventi,
    Suaviolum dulci dulcius ambrosia.
  Verum id non inpune tuli: namque amplius horam
    Suffixum in summa me memini esse cruce,
  Dum tibi me purgo nec possum fletibus ullis                    5
    Tantillum vostrae demere saevitiae.
  Nam simul id factumst, multis diluta labella
    Abstersti guttis omnibus articulis,
  Ne quicquam nostro contractum ex ore maneret,
    Tamquam conmictae spurca saliva lupae.                      10
  Praeterea infesto miserum me tradere Amori
    Non cessasti omnique excruciare modo,
  Vt mi ex ambrosia mutatum iam foret illud
    Suaviolum tristi tristius helleboro.
  Quam quoniam poenam misero proponis amori,                    15
    Numquam iam posthac basia surripiam.



  E'en as thou played'st, from thee snatched I (O honied Juventius!)
    Kisslet of savour so sweet sweetest Ambrosia unknows.
  Yet was the theft nowise scot-free, for more than an hour I
    Clearly remember me fixt hanging from crest of the Cross,
  Whatwhile I purged my sin unto thee nor with any weeping       5
    Tittle of cruel despite such as be thine could I 'bate.
  For that no sooner done thou washed thy liplets with many
    Drops which thy fingers did wipe, using their every joint,
  Lest of our mouths conjoined remain there aught by the contact
    Like unto slaver foul shed by the butterèd bun.             10
  Further, wretchedmost me betrayed to unfriendliest Love-god
    Never thou ceased'st to pain hurting with every harm,
  So that my taste be turned and kisses ambrosial erstwhile
    Even than hellebore-juice bitterest bitterer grow.
  Seeing such pangs as these prepared for unfortunate lover,    15
    After this never again kiss will I venture to snatch.

I snatched from thee, whilst thou wast sporting, O honied Juventius, a kiss
sweeter than sweet ambrosia. But I bore it off not unpunished; for more
than an hour do I remember myself hung on the summit of the cross, whilst I
purged myself [for my crime] to thee, nor could any tears in the least
remove your anger. For instantly it was done, thou didst bathe thy lips
with many drops, and didst cleanse them with every finger-joint, lest
anything remained from the conjoining of our mouths, as though it were the
obscene slaver of a fetid fricatrice. Nay, more, thou hast handed wretched
me over to despiteful Love, nor hast thou ceased to agonize me in every
way, so that for me that kiss is now changed from ambrosia to be harsher
than harsh hellebore. Since thou dost award such punishment to wretched
amourist, never more after this will I steal kisses.


  Caelius Aufilenum et Quintius Aufilenam
    Flos Veronensum depereunt iuvenum,
  Hic fratrem, ille sororem. hoc est, quod dicitur, illud
    Fraternum vere dulce sodalitium.
  Cui faveam potius? Caeli, tibi: nam tua nobis                  5
    Per facta exhibitast unica amicitia,
  Cum vesana meas torreret flamma medullas.
    Sis felix, Caeli, sis in amore potens.



  Cælius Aufilénus and Quintius Aufiléna,
    Love to the death, both swains bloom of the youth Veronese,
  This woo'd brother and that sue'd sister: so might the matter
    Claim to be titled wi' sooth fairest fraternalest tie.
  Whom shall I favour the first? Thee (Cælius!) for thou hast provèd  5
    Singular friendship to us shown by the deeds it has done,
  Whenas the flames insane had madded me, firing my marrow:
    Cælius! happy be thou; ever be lusty in love.

Caelius, Aufilenus; and Quintius, Aufilena;--flower of the Veronese
youth,--love desperately: this, the brother; that, the sister. This is, as
one would say, true brotherhood and sweet friendship. To whom shall I
incline the more? Caelius, to thee; for thy single devotion to us was shewn
by its deeds, when the raging flame scorched my marrow. Be happy, O
Caelius, be potent in love.


  Multas per gentes et multa per aequora vectus
    Advenio has miseras, frater, ad inferias,
  Vt te postremo donarem munere mortis
    Et mutam nequiquam adloquerer cinerem,
  Quandoquidem fortuna mihi tete abstulit ipsum,                 5
    Heu miser indigne frater adempte mihi.
      *    *    *    *
  Nunc tamen interea haec prisco quae more parentum
    Tradita sunt tristes munera ad inferias,
  Accipe fraterno multum manantia fletu,
    Atque in perpetuom, frater, ave atque vale.                 10



  Faring thro' many a folk and plowing many a sea-plain
    These sad funeral-rites (Brother!) to deal thee I come,
  So wi' the latest boons to the dead bestowed I may gift thee,
    And I may vainly address ashes that answer have none,
  Sithence of thee, very thee, to deprive me Fortune behested,   5
    Woe for thee, Brother forlore! Cruelly severed fro' me.
      *    *    *    *
  Yet in the meanwhile now what olden usage of forbears
    Brings as the boons that befit mournfullest funeral rites,
  Thine be these gifts which flow with tear-flood shed by thy brother,
    And, for ever and aye (Brother!) all hail and farewell.     10

Through many a folk and through many waters borne, I am come, brother, to
thy sad grave, that I may give the last gifts to the dead, and may vainly
speak to thy mute ashes, since fortune hath borne from me thyself. Ah,
hapless brother, heavily snatched from me. * * * But now these gifts, which
of yore, in manner ancestral handed down, are the sad gifts to the grave,
accept thou, drenched with a brother's tears, and for ever, brother, hail!
for ever, adieu!


  Si quicquam tacito conmissumst fido ab amico,
    Cuius sit penitus nota fides animi,
  Meque esse invenies illorum iure sacratum,
    Corneli, et factum me esse puta Harpocratem.



  If by confiding friend aught e'er be trusted in silence,
    Unto a man whose mind known is for worthiest trust,
  Me shalt thou find no less than such to secrecy oathbound,
    (Cornelius!) and now hold me an Harpocrates.

If aught be committed to secret faith from a friend to one whose inner
faith of soul is known, thou wilt find me to be of that sacred faith, O
Cornelius, and may'st deem me become an Harpocrates.


  Aut, sodes, mihi redde decem sestertia, Silo,
    Deinde esto quamvis saevus et indomitus:
  Aut, si te nummi delectant, desine quaeso
    Leno esse atque idem saevus et indomitus.



  Or, d'ye hear, refund those ten sestertia (Silo!)
    Then be thou e'en at thy will surly and savage o' mood:
  Or, an thou love o'er-well those moneys, prithee no longer
    Prove thee a pimp and withal surly and savage o' mood.

Prithee, either return me my ten thousand sesterces, Silo; then be to thy
content surly and boorish: or, if the money allure thee, desist I pray thee
from being a pander and likewise surly and boorish.


  Credis me potuisse meae maledicere vitae,
    Ambobus mihi quae carior est oculis?
  Non potui, nec si possem tam perdite amarem:
    Sed tu cum Tappone omnia monstra facis.



  Canst thou credit that I could avail to revile my life-love,
    She who be dearer to me even than either my eyes?
  Ne'er could I, nor an I could, should I so losingly love her:
    But with Tappo thou dost design every monstrous deed.

Dost deem me capable of speaking ill of my life, she who is dearer to me
than are both mine eyes? I could not, nor if I could, would my love be so
desperate: but thou with Tappo dost frame everything heinous.


  Mentula conatur Pipleum scandere montem:
    Musae furcillis praecipitem eiciunt.



  Mentula fain would ascend Pipléan mountain up-mounting:
    Pitch him the Muses down headlong wi' forklets a-hurled.

Mentula presumes the Pimplean mount to scale: the Muses with their
pitchforks chuck him headlong down.


  Cum puero bello praeconem qui videt esse,
    Quid credat, nisi se vendere discupere?



  When with a pretty-faced boy we see one playing the Crier,
    What can we wot except longs he for selling the same?

When with a comely lad a crier is seen to be, what may be thought save that
he longs to sell himself.


  Siquoi quid cupido optantique obtigit umquam
    Insperanti, hoc est gratum animo proprie.
  Quare hoc est gratum nobisque est carius auro,
    Quod te restituis, Lesbia, mi cupido,
  Restituis cupido atque insperanti ipsa refers te.              5
    Nobis o lucem candidiore nota!
  Quis me uno vivit felicior, aut magis hac res
    Optandas vita dicere quis poterit?



  An to one ever accrue any boon he lusted and longed for
    Any time after despair, grateful it comes to his soul.
  Thus 'tis grateful to us nor gold was ever so goodly,
    When thou restorest thyself (Lesbia!) to lovingmost me,
  Self thou restorest unhoped, and after despair thou returnest.  5
    Oh the fair light of a Day noted with notabler white!
  Where lives a happier man than myself or--this being won me--
    Who shall e'er boast that his life brought him more coveted lot?

If what one desires and covets is ever obtained unhoped for, this is
specially grateful to the soul. Wherefore is it grateful to us and far
dearer than gold, that thou com'st again, Lesbia, to longing me; com'st yet
again, long-looked for and unhoped, thou restorest thyself. O day of whiter
note for us! who lives more happily than I, sole I, or who can say what
greater thing than this could be hoped for in life?


  Si, Comini, populi arbitrio tua cana senectus
    Spurcata inpuris moribus intereat,
  Non equidem dubito quin primum inimica bonorum
    Lingua execta avido sit data volturio,
  Effossos oculos voret atro gutture corvos,                     5
    Intestina canes, cetera membra lupi.



  If by the verdict o' folk thy hoary old age (O Cominius!)
    Filthy with fulsomest lust ever be doomed to the death,
  Make I no manner of doubt but first thy tongue to the worthy
    Ever a foe, cut out, ravening Vulture shall feed;
  Gulp shall the Crow's black gorge those eye-balls dug from their sockets,
    Guts of thee go to the dogs, all that remains to the wolves.

If, O Cominius, by the people's vote thy hoary age made filthy by unclean
practices shall perish, forsure I doubt not but that first thy tongue,
hostile to goodness, cut out, shall be given to the greedy vulture-brood,
thine eyes, gouged out, shall the crows gorge down with sable maw, thine
entrails [shall be flung] to the dogs, the members still remaining to the


  Iocundum, mea vita, mihi proponis amorem
    Hunc nostrum internos perpetuomque fore.
  Di magni, facite ut vere promittere possit,
    Atque id sincere dicat et ex animo,
  Vt liceat nobis tota producere vita                            5
    Alternum hoc sanctae foedus amicitae.



  Gladsome to me, O my life, this love whose offer thou deignest
    Between us twain lively and lusty to last soothfast.
  (Great Gods!) grant ye the boon that prove her promises loyal,
    Saying her say in truth spoken with spirit sincere;
  So be it lawful for us to protract through length of our life-tide  5
    Mutual pact of our love, pledges of holy good will!

My joy, my life, thou declarest to me that this love of ours shall last
ever between us. Great Gods! grant that she may promise truly, and say this
in sincerity and from her soul, and that through all our lives we may be
allowed to prolong together this bond of holy friendship.


  Aufilena, bonae semper laudantur amicae:
    Accipiunt pretium, quae facere instituunt.
  Tu quod promisti, mihi quod mentita inimica's,
    Quod nec das et fers saepe, facis facinus.
  Aut facere ingenuaest, aut non promisse pudicae,               5
    Aufilena, fuit: sed data corripere
  Fraudando + efficit plus quom meretricis avarae,
    Quae sese tota corpore prostituit.



  Aufiléna! for aye good lasses are lauded as loyal:
    Price of themselves they accept when they intend to perform.
  All thou promised'st me in belying proves thee unfriendly,
    For never giving and oft taking is deed illy done.
  Either as honest to grant, or modest as never to promise,      5
    Aufiléna! were fair, but at the gifties to clutch
  Fraudfully, viler seems than greed of greediest harlot
    Who with her every limb maketh a whore of herself.

Aufilena, honest harlots are always praised: they accept the price of what
they intend to do. Thou didst promise that to me, which, being a feigned
promise, proves thee unfriendly; not giving that, and often accepting, thou
dost wrongfully. Either to do it frankly, or not to promise from modesty,
Aufilena, was becoming thee: but to snatch the gift and bilk, proves thee
worse than the greedy strumpet who prostitutes herself with every part of
her body.


  Aufilena, viro contentam vivere solo,
    Nuptarum laus e laudibus eximiis:
  Sed cuivis quamvis potius succumbere par est,
    Quam matrem fratres _efficere_ ex patruo.



  Aufiléna! to live content with only one husband,
    Praise is and truest of praise ever bestowed upon wife.
  Yet were it liefer to lie any wise with any for lover,
    Than to be breeder of boys uncle as cousins begat.

Aufilena, to be content to live with single mate, in married dame is praise
of praises most excelling: but 'tis preferable to lie beneath any lover
thou mayest choose, rather than to make thyself mother to thy cousins out
of thy uncle.


  Multus homo es Naso, neque tecum multus homost qui
    Descendit: Naso, multus es et pathicus.



  Great th'art (Naso!) as man, nor like thee many in greatness
    Lower themselves (Naso!): great be thou, pathic to boot.

A mighty man thou art, Naso, yet is a man not mighty who doth stoop like
thee: Naso thou art mighty--and pathic.


  Consule Pompeio primum duo, Cinna, solebant
    Mucillam: facto consule nunc iterum
  Manserunt duo, sed creverunt milia in unum
    Singula. fecundum semen adulterio.



  Pompey first being chosen to Consul, twofold (O Cinna!)
    Men for amours were famed: also when chosen again
  Two they remained; but now is each one grown to a thousand
    Gallants:--fecundate aye springeth adultery's seed.

In the first consulate of Pompey, two, Cinna, were wont to frequent
Mucilla: now again made consul, the two remain, but thousands may be added
to each unit. The seed of adultery is fecund.


  Firmano saltu non falso Mentula dives
    Fertur, qui tot res in se habet egregias,
  Aucupium, omne genus piscis, prata, arva ferasque.
    Nequiquam: fructibus sumptibus exuperat.
  Quare concedo sit dives, dum omnia desint.                     5
    Saltum laudemus, dum modo _eo_ ipse egeat.



  For yon Firmian domain not falsely Mentula hight is
    Richard, owning for self so many excellent things--
  Fish, fur, feather, all kinds, with prairie, corn-land, and ferals.
    All no good: for th' outgoing, income immensely exceeds.
  Therefore his grounds be rich own I, while he's but a pauper.  5
    Laud we thy land while thou lackest joyance thereof.

With Firmian demesne not falsely is Mentula deemed rich, who has everything
in it of such excellence, game preserves of every kind, fish, meadows,
arable land and ferals. In vain: the yield is o'ercome by the expense.
Wherefore I admit the wealth, whilst everything is wanting. We may praise
the demesne, but its owner is a needy man.


  Mentula habes instar triginta iugera prati,
    Quadraginta arvi: cetera sunt maria.
  Cur non divitiis Croesum superare potissit
    Vno qui in saltu totmoda possideat,
  Prata, arva, ingentes silvas saltusque paludesque              5
    Vsque ad Hyperboreos et mare ad Oceanum?
  Omnia magna haec sunt, tamen ipse's maximus ultro,
    Non homo, sed vero mentula magna minax.



  Mentula! masterest thou some thirty acres of grass-land
    Full told, forty of field soil; others are sized as the sea.
  Why may he not surpass in his riches any a Croesus
    Who in his one domain owns such abundance of good,
  Grass-lands, arable fields, vast woods and forest and marish   5
    Yonder to Boreal-bounds trenching on Ocean tide?
  Great are indeed all these, but thou by far be the greatest,
    Never a man, but a great Mentula of menacing might.

Mentula has something like thirty acres of meadow land, forty under
cultivation: the rest are as the sea. Why might he not o'erpass Croesus in
wealth, he who in one demesne possesses so much? Meadow, arable land,
immense woods, and demesnes, and morasses, e'en to the uttermost north and
to the ocean's tide! All things great are here, yet is the owner most great
beyond all; not a man, but in truth a Mentule mighty, menacing!


  Saepe tibi studioso animo venante requirens
    Carmina uti possem mittere Battiadae,
  Qui te lenirem nobis, neu conarere
    Telis infestis icere mi usque caput,
  Hunc video mihi nunc frustra sumptus esse laborem,             5
    Gelli, nec nostras his valuisse preces.
  Contra nos tela ista tua evitamus amictu:
    At fixus nostris tu dabi' supplicium.



  Seeking often in mind with spirit eager of study
    How I could send thee songs chaunted of Battiadés,
  So thou be softened to us, nor any attempting thou venture
    Shot of thy hostile shaft piercing me high as its head,--
  Now do I ken this toil with vainest purpose was taken,         5
    (Gellius!) nor herein aught have our prayers availèd.
  Therefore we'll parry with cloak what shafts thou shootest against us;
    And by our bolts transfixt, penalty due thou shalt pay.

Oft with studious mind brought close, enquiring how I might send thee the
poems of Battiades for use, that I might soften thee towards us, nor thou
continually attempt to sting my head with troublesome barbs--this I see now
to have been trouble and labour in vain, O Gellius, nor were our prayers to
this end of any avail. Thy weapons against us we will ward off with our
cloak; but, transfixed with ours, thou shalt suffer punishment.

       *       *       *       *       *



Carmen ii. v. 1. Politian, commenting on Catullus, held in common with
Lampridius, Turnebus and Vossius that Lesbia's sparrow was an indecent
allegory, like the "grey duck" in Pope's imitation of Chaucer. Sannazarius
wrote an Epigram smartly castigating Politian, the closing lines of which
were to the effect that the critic would like to devour the bird:--

              Meus hic Pulicianus
  Tam bellum sibi passerem Catulli
  Intra viscera habere concupiscit.

Martial says:

    "Kiss me and I will give you Catullus's sparrow,

by which he does not mean a poem.

And in the Apophoreta:

    "If you have such a sparrow as Catullus's Lesbia deplored, it may lodge

Chaulieu has a similar Epigram:--

  Autant et plus que sa vie
  Phyllis aime un passereau;
  Ainsi la jeune Lesbie
  Jadis aima son moineau.
  Mais de celui de Catulle
  Se laissant aussi charmer,
  Dans sa cage, sans scrupule,
  Elle eut soin de l' enfermer.

Héguin de Guerle however sees nothing to justify this opinion, remarking
that Catullus was not the man to use a veil of allegory in saying an
indecency. "He preferred the bare, and even coarse, word; and he is too
rich in this style of writing to need the loan of equivocal passages."

v. 12. The story of the race between Hippomenes and Atalanta, and how the
crafty lover tricked the damsel into defeat by the three golden apples is
well known. Cf. Ovid. Metam. lib. x. v. 560, et seq. According to Vossius
the gift of an apple was equivalent to a promise of the last favour. The
Emperor Theodosius caused Paulinus to be murdered for receiving an apple
from his Empress. As to this, cf. the "Tale of the Three Apples," in _The
Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night_ (Sir Richard Burton's Translation,
Benares, 1885-8, 16 volumes), vol. i. p. 191. Cf. also note to C. lxv. v.

v. 13. Virgins wore a girdle, generally of wool, for wool by the ancients
was supposed to excite love, which the bridegroom the first night unbound
in bed. Both in Greek and in Latin the phrase _to undo the zone_ was used
to signify the loss of virginity.

C. vi. v. 8. Some say this is the spikenard, and the same with the Syrian
_malobathrum_. But any rich odour was termed Syrian, by the Romans, who
were extravagantly fond of perfumes; and used them, according to Vulpius,
as provocatives to venery.

v. 9. _Pulvinus_, not _pulvinar_. Cf. carmen lxiiii. v. 47, post.

C. vii. v. 6. Battus (in Libyan) Bahatus, a chief, a ruler.--Halevy Essai,
p. 164.--_R. F. B._

C. viii. v. 18. Plautus speaks of Teneris labellis molles morsiunculae.
Thus too Horace:

              Sive puer furens
  Impressit memorem dente labris notam.

  Or on thy lips the fierce fond boy
  Marks with his teeth the furious joy. _Francis_.

Plutarch tells us that Flora, the mistress of Cn. Pompey, used to say in
commendation of her lover, that she could never quit his arms without
giving him a bite.

C. xi. v. 5. In the Classics, Arabs always appear as a soft effeminate
race; under primitive Christianity as heretics; and after the seventh
century as conquerors, men of letters, philosophers, mediciners, magicians
and alchemists.--_R. F. B._

v. 20. _Ilia rumpens_. More exactly rendered by Biacca:

              E sol di tutti
  Tenta l'iniqua ad isnervar i fianchi.

Guarini says of a coquette, that she likes to do with lovers as with gowns,
have plenty of them, use one after another, and change them often.

C. xiii. v. 9. I understand this, "Thou shalt depart after supper carrying
with thee all our hearts."--_R. F. B._

C. xiiii. v. 15. Whence our Christmas-day, the Winter Solstice connected
with Christianity. There are only four universal festivals--"Holy
days,"--and they are all of solar origin--The Solstices and the
Equinoxes.--_R. F. B._

C. xv. v. 7. The Etymology of "platea" shows it to be a street widening
into a kind of _place_, as we often find in the old country towns of
Southern Europe.--_R. F. B._

v. 18. _Patente porta_. This may be read "Your house door being open so
that each passer may see your punishment," or it may be interpreted as
referring to the punishment itself, _i.e._, through the opened buttocks.

v. 19. This mode of punishing adulterers was first instituted amongst the
Athenians. The victim being securely tied, a mullet was thrust up his
fundament and withdrawn, the sharp gills of the fish causing excruciating
torment to the sufferer during the process of its withdrawal, and
grievously lacerating the bowels. Sometimes an enormous radish was
substituted for the mullet. According to an epigram quoted by Vossius from
the Anthologia, Alcaeus, the comic writer, died under this very punishment.

  Lo here Alcaeus sleeps; whom earth's green child,
  The broad-leaved radish, lust's avenger, kill'd.

C. xvi. v. 1. _Paedicabo et irrumabo._ These detestable words are used here
only as coarse forms of threatening, with no very definite meaning. It is
certain that they were very commonly employed in this way, with no more
distinct reference to their original import than the corresponding phrases
of the modern Italians, _T' ho in culo_ and _becco fottuto_, or certain
brutal exclamations common in the mouths of the English vulgar.

v. 5. Ovid has a distich to the same effect:

  Crede mihi, distant mores a carmine nostri;
  Vita verecunda est, musa jocosa mihi.

"Believe me there is a vast difference between my morals and my song; my
life is decorous, my muse is wanton." And Martial says:

  Lasciva est nobis pagina, vita proba est.

Which is thus translated by Maynard:

  Si ma plume est une putain,
    Ma vie est une sainte.

Pliny quotes this poem of Catullus to excuse the wantonness of his own
verses, which he is sending to his friend Paternus; and Apuleius cites the
passage in his Apology for the same purpose. "Whoever," says Lambe, "would
see the subject fully discussed, should turn to the Essay on the Literary
Character by Mr. Disraeli." He enumerates as instances of free writers who
have led pure lives, La Motte le Vayer, Bayle, la Fontaine, Smollet, and
Cowley. "The imagination," he adds, "may be a volcano, while the heart is
an Alp of ice." It would, however, be difficult to enlarge this list, while
on the other hand, the catalogue of those who really practised the
licentiousness they celebrated, would be very numerous. One period alone,
the reign of Charles the Second, would furnish more than enough to
outnumber the above small phalanx of purity. Muretus, whose poems clearly
gave him every right to knowledge on the subject, but whose known
debauchery would certainly have forbidden any credit to accrue to himself
from establishing the general purity of lascivious poets, at once rejects
the probability of such a contrast, saying:

  Quisquis versibus exprimit Catullum
  Raro moribus exprimit Catonem.

"One who is a Catullus in verse, is rarely a Cato in morals."

C. xviii. This and the two following poems are found in the Catalecta of
Vergilius, but they are assigned to Catullus by many of the best critics,
chiefly on the authority of Terentianus Maurus.

v. 2. Cf. _Auct. Priapeiorum_, Eps. lv. v. 6, and lxxvii. v. 15.

v. 3. _Ostreosior_. This Epithet, peculiarly Catullian, is appropriate to
the coasts most favoured by Priapus; oysters being an incentive to lust.

C. xx. v. 19. The traveller mocks at Priapus' threat of sodomy, regarding
it as a pleasure instead of as a punishment. The god, in anger, retorts
that if that punishment has no fears for him, a fustigation by the farmer
with the self-same mentule used as a cudgel may have a more deterrent
effect. Cf. _Auct. Priap._ Ep. li. v. 27, 28:

  Nimirum apertam convolatis ad poenam:
  Et vos hoc ipsum, quod minamur, invitat.

Without doubt, ye flock to the open punishment [so called because the
natural parts of Priapus were always exposed to view], and the very thing
with which I threaten, allures you.

And also Ep. lxiv.,

    Quidam mollior anseris medulla,
    Furatum venit hoc amor poenae.
    Furetur licet usque non videbo.

  One than a goose's marrow softer far,
  Comes hither stealing for it's penalty sake;
  Steal he as please him: I will see him not.

C. xxiii. v. 6. Dry and meagre as wood; like the woman of whom Scarron
says, that she never snuffed the candle with her fingers for fear of
setting them on fire.

C. xxv. v. 1. Cf. Auct. Priap. Ep. xlv.

v. 5. This is a Catullian _crux_. Mr. Arthur Palmer (Trinity College,
Dublin, Jan. 31, 1890) proposes, and we adopt--

  "Cum diva miluorum aves ostendit oscitantes."

  (When the Goddess of Kites shows you birds agape.)

Diva miluorum is--Diva furum, Goddess of thieves; _i.e._, Laverna Milvus
(hawk) being generally used for a rapacious robber. Mr. Palmer quotes
Plaut. (Poen. 5, 5, 13; Pers. 3, 4, 5; Bacch. 2, 3, 40), and others.--_R.
F. B._

v. 6. _Involasti_, thou didst swoop--still metaphor of the prey-bird.--_R.
F. B._

C. xxvi. v. 3. Still the "Bora" of the Adriatic, extending, with intervals,
from Trieste to Bari. It is a N.N. Easter of peculiar electrical
properties, causing extreme thirst, wrecking ships, upsetting mail-trains,
and sweeping carriages and horses into the sea. Austral, the south wind, is
represented in these days by the Scirocco, S.S.E. It sets out from Africa a
dry wind, becomes supersaturated in the Mediterranean, and is the scourge
of Southern Italy, exhausting the air of ozone and depressing the spirits
and making man utterly useless and miserable.--_R. F. B._

C. xxviii. v. 10. These expressions, like those in carmen xvi. ante, are
merely terms of realistically gross abuse.

C. xxviiii. v. 5. _Cinaede Romule_. The epithet is here applied in its
grossest sense, which again is implied in the allusion to the spoil of
Pontus; for this, as Vossius proves, can only be understood to mean the
wealth obtained by Caesar, when a young man, through his infamous relations
with Nicomedes, king of Pontus--as witness two lines sung by Caesar's own
soldiers on the occasion of his triumph:

  Ecce Caesar nunc triumphat, qui subegit Galliam;
  Nicomedes non triumphat, qui subegit Caesarem.

v. 13. _Defututa Mentula_ = a worn-out voluptuary. Mentula is a cant term
which Catullus frequently uses for a libidinous person, and particularly
for Mamurra.

v. 24. Pompey married Caesar's daughter, Julia, and is commonly supposed to
be the "son-in-law" here meant; but Vossius argues with some force, that
_socer_ and _gener_ apply, not to Caesar and Pompey, but to Caesar and
Mamurra. Those words, and the corresponding terms in Greek, were often used
in an unnatural sense, as for instance in an epigram on Noctuinus,
attributed to Calvus, in which occurs this very line, _Gener socerque
perdidistis omnia_.

C. xxxi. v. 1. As the Venice-Trieste railway runs along the southern bar of
the pyriform narrow, Lago di Garda, with its towering mountains, whose
heads are usually in the storm-clouds, and whose feet sink into the nearest
vineyards, the traveller catches a sight of the Sirmio Spit, long and
sandy. It is a narrow ridge boldly projecting into the lake (once called
Benacus) which was formerly a marsh, but now made into an island by the
simple process of ditch cutting: at the southern end is the Sermione hill
and its picturesque Scottish-German Castle. To the north are some ruins
supposed to be the old Villa of Catullus, but they seem too extensive to
serve for the purpose.--_R. F. B._

C. xxxii. v. 11. Pezay, a French translator, strangely mistakes the meaning
of the passage, as if it amounted to this, "I have gorged till I am ready
to burst;" and he quotes the remark of "une femme charmante," who said that
her only reply to such a billet-doux would have been to send the writer an
emetic. But the lady might have prescribed a different remedy if she had
been acquainted with Martial's line:

  O quoties rigidâ pulsabis pallia venâ!

or with this quatrain of an old French poet:

  Ainsi depuis une semaine
  La longue roideur de ma veine,
  Pour néant rouge et bien en point,
  Bat ma chemise et mon pourpoint.

C. xxxvii. v. 1. Taverns and Wine-shops in Rome were distinguished by
pillars projecting into the streets, the better to catch the eye of the
passenger, as sign-posts of inns do with us now; the tavern in question was
a house of ill-fame, and we are told it was the ninth column or sign-post
from the Temple of Castor and Pollux.

v. 2. It was customary to display on the fronts of brothels the names of
the inmates, just as shopkeepers' names were inscribed over places of more
reputable trade: this was called _inscriptio_ or _titulus_.

v. 10. _Scorpionibus_. Indecent inscriptions scribbled on the walls and
door with burnt sticks.

v. 11. Catullus's mistress had, it seems, run away from him to a common
brothel, in front of which it was the custom, not only for women but even
for men, to sit down and offer themselves for prostitution.

v. 16. _Semitarii moechi_. Whoremongers who take up with common women who
offer themselves at every corner of the streets for a mere trifle.

v. 20. _Hibera Urina_. We are assured by Strabo, _Lib._ 3, that this filthy
custom prevailed greatly in Spain: teeth were not only washed in stale
urine, the acid of which must necessarily render them white, but they were
also rubbed with a powder of calcined human excrement. Persons sometimes
even bathed their whole bodies in urine.

C. xxxxi. v. 3. _Turpiculo naso_. The kind of nose alluded to is such as
sheep or goats have. Cf. Lucretius, _lib._ iv. v. 1152.

C. xxxxvii. v. 6. _In trivio_, i.e., in the most public places, in hopes of
finding some host.

v. 7. This hunting for invitations does not, according to modern notions,
place the two friends of Catullus in a respectable light; but it was a
common and avowed practice at Rome.

C. liii. v. 5. _Salaputium_. A pet name for the male virile member. This
word has been the subject of much debate among the learned. Some read
_solopachium_, meaning a "mannikin eighteen inches high"; Saumasius
proposes salopygium, a "wagtail"; several editors have _salaputium_, an
indelicate word nurses used to children when they fondled them, so that the
exclamation would mean, "what a learned little puppet!" Thus Augustus
called Horace _purissimum penem_.

C. liiii. I find it an impossibility to make any sense out of this poem.

v. 5. _Seni recocto_. Horace applies this epithet to one who has served the
office of _quinquevir_, or proconsul's notary, and who was therefore master
of all the arts of chicanery. These are his words, Sat. v. lib. 2:

                  _Plerumque recoctus_
  _Scriba ex quinqueviro corvum deludit hiantem._

  A seasoned scrivener, bred in office low,
  Full often dupes and mocks the gaping crow.   FRANCIS.

The modern Italians say of a man of this stamp, _Egli ha cotto il culo ne'
ceci rossi_. The phrase _seni recocto_ may imply one who enjoys a green and
vigorous old age, as if made young again, as the old woman was by wine, of
whom Petronius speaks, _Anus recocta vino_; or Æson, who was re-cooked by
Medaea. That witch, says Valerius Flaccus, _Recoquit fessos aetate

C. lvi. v. 6. _Trusantem_. Many read _crissantem_, which means the movement
of the loins in women; _ceventem_ being the like of a man. As the
expression refers to the lad, _crissantem_ cannot be correct.

v. 7. _Pro telo_. Alluding to the custom of punishing adulterers by
transfixing them with darts. The double-entendre of _Telo_ with _Mentula_
is evident, and makes clear the apology to Venus. See _lib._ 9 of Apuleius
for a similar passage.

C. lvii. v. 7. _Erudituli_. The accomplishments alluded to are not
literary, but Priapeian. It is in this sense Petronius calls Gito
_doctissimus puer_. Oezema, a grave German jurist, parodied a part of this
piece. His epigram can be read without danger of having one's stomach

  Belle convenit inter elegantes
  Dione's famulas, et eruditos
  Antiquae Themidis meos sodales.
  Nos jus justitiamque profitemur:
  Illae semper amant coluntque rectum.

"There is a charming coincidence of sentiment between the fair votaries of
Venus and my learned brethren: we profess law and justice; they dearly love
the thing that is upright."

C. lviii. v. 1. _Caeli_. This is the same with Caelius Rufus, Catullus's
rival in the affections of Lesbia, or Clodia, according to Achilles
Statius; Plutarch calls her Quadrantaria; she was debauched by her own
brother, Publius Clodius; afterwards she became the mistress of Catullus,
and lastly the common strumpet of Rome.

v. 4. The meanest trulls frequented the public streets.

v. 5. _Glubit_. _Glubo_ = to husk (corn), hence it is tropically used to
denote masturbation. Cf. Ausonius, epigram 71.

C. lviiii. v. 1. _Fellat_. This refers to the complacent use by the female
of her lips in the act of connection.

v. 3. The half-starved women of pleasure attended at funerals in the hope
of picking up parts of the viands which were laid on the pile and burnt
with the body.

C. lxi. v. 22. _Myrtus Asia_. The Asia of Catullus was that marshy tract of
land near Mount Tmolus and the River Caystrus. Cf. Homer (_Il._ ii. 461)
for the "Ancient Meadow." It was said to be as famous for its myrtles as
for its cranes. Proper "Asia Minor" is the title first used by Oratius
(Orazius?) (1. 2.) in the IVth century. See the "Life and Works of St.
Paul," by Dr. Farrar (i. 465).--_R. F. B._

v. 54. _Timens_. Many more obscenely write _tumens_, thus changing the
"fear-full" bridegroom into the "swollen" bridegroom.

v. 123. It was usual for the mirthful friends of the newly married couple
to sing obscene songs called _Fescennine_, which were tolerated on this

v. 124. _Nec nuces pueris_. This custom of throwing nuts, such as walnuts
or almonds, is of Athenian origin; some say it was meant to divert the
attention from the raptures of the bride and bridegroom, when in bed, by
the noise they, and the scrambling boys, made on the floor. For _nuces_,
referring to the use of boys, see Verg. Eclogue 8.

v. 125. _Concubinus_. By the shamelessness of this passage, it would seem
to be quite a usual thing amongst the youthful Roman aristocracy to possess
a bedfellow of their own sex.

v. 137. "This coarse imitation of the Fescennine poems," says Dunlop
(History of Roman Literature), "leaves on our minds a stronger impression
of the prevalence and extent of Roman vices than any other passage in the
Latin classics. Martial, and Catullus himself elsewhere, have branded their
enemies; and Juvenal, in bursts of satiric indignation, has reproached his
countrymen with the blackest crimes. But here, in a complimentary poem to a
patron and intimate friend, these are jocularly alluded to as the venial
indulgence of his earliest youth."

C. lxii. v. 39, _et seq._ Thus exquisitely rendered by Spenser, Faery
Queen, b. ii. c. 12:

    The whiles some one did chaunt this lovely lay:
      "Ah! see, whoso fayre thing doest faine to see,
    In springing flowre the image of thy day!
      Ah! see the virgin rose, how sweetly she
      Doth first peepe foorth with bashfull modestie,
    That fairer seemes the lesse ye see her may!
      Lo see soone after how more bold and free
    Her bared bosome she doth broad display;
  Lo! see soone after how she fades and falls away!

    "So passeth, in the passing of a day,
      Of mortal life the leafe, the bud, the flowre;
    Ne more doth flourish after first decay,
      That erst was sought to deck both bed and bowre
      Of many a lady, and many a paramoure!
    Gather therefore the rose whilest yet is prime,
      For soone comes age that will her pride deflowre;
    Gather the rose of love whilest yet is time,
  Whilest loving thou mayst loved be with equal crime."

C. lxiii. v. 23. Women devoted to the service of Bacchus or of Cybele; for
many things were common to the rights of both deities. The name is derived
from [Greek: mainesthai], to rave.

v. 28. _Thiasus_ is properly a chorus of sacred singers and dancers, living
in a community, like a college of dervishes, who, indeed, are an exact
counterpart of the Galli as regards their howling and dancing ritual, but
have the advantage of their predecessors in one important particular,
_i.e._, they are not castrated.

C. lxiiii. v. 65. The strophium was a band which confined the breasts and
restrained the exuberance of their growth. Martial apostrophizes it thus:

  Fascia, crescentes dominae compesce papillas,
  Ut sit quod capiat nostra tegatque manus.

"Confine the growth of my fair one's breasts, that they may be just large
enough for my hand to enclose them."

v. 377. _Circumdare filo_. That is, may you to-morrow prove that you are no
longer a virgin; for the ancients had an idea that the neck swelled after
venery; perhaps from the supposed descent of the procreative fluid which
they thought lodged in the brain. See Hippocrates and Aristotle upon this
subject. The swelling of the bride's neck was therefore ascertained by
measurement with a thread on the morning after the nuptials, and was held
to be sufficient proof of their happy consummation. The ancients, says
Pezay, had faith in another equally absurd test of virginity. They measured
the circumference of the neck with a thread. Then the girl under trial took
the two ends of the magic thread in her teeth, and if it was found to be so
long that its bight could be passed over her head, it was clear she was not
a maid. By this rule all the thin girls might pass for vestals, and all the
plump ones for the reverse.

v. 403. Semiramis is said to have done thus by her son Ninus.

C. lxv. v. 19. The gift of an apple had a very tender meaning; according to
Vossius it was _quasi pignus concubitus_, that is to say, it was the climax

  To all those token flowers that tell
  What words can never speak so well.

In one of the love epistles of Aristaenetus, Phalaris complains to her
friend Petala, how her younger sister, who had accompanied her to dine with
Pamphilus, her lover, attempted to seduce him, and among other wanton
tricks did as follows: "Pamphilus, biting off a piece of an apple, chucked
it dexterously into her bosom; she took it, kissed it, and thrusting it
under her sash, hid it between her breasts." Cf. note to C. ii. v. 12,

C. lxvii. v. 21. _Languidior_. This expression, here obscenely applied, is
proverbial, from the flagging of the leaves of the beet; hence the Latin
word _batizare_, to droop, used by Suetonius, _in Augusto_. See Pliny on
this plant, Cap. xiii. _lib._ 9.

v. 28. _Zonam Solvere_. See the note to C. ii. v. 13.

v. 30. _Minxerit in gremium_. Horace uses the word _mingere_ in the same

  _Dicitur ut formae melioris meïat eodem_.
                  Hor. Sat. vii. _lib._ 2.

and in like manner Persius

  _Patriciae immeïat vulvae._

Pliny more than once uses the word _urina pro semine_.

C. lxviiii. v. 6. _Sub alarum_. Many would join these two words and form
one, which, however, is not authorised by any ancient writer. The
Spaniards, it is true, say _sobaco_, the armpit, but this does not justify
a new Latin coinage of any similar word. The smell alluded to in this line
has often been compared to that of a goat; it is called _capram_, _caprum_,
and _hircam_. Thus Horace, Epod. 12,

                  _Namque sagacius unus odoror_
  _Polypus an gravis hirsutis cubet hircus in alis._

This tetterous complaint is peculiar to warm countries; we know scarcely
anything of it in our northern climate.

C. lxxiiii. v. 6. The reader will easily guess that one reason for the
uncle's inability to murmur was owing to the occupation which Gellius had
thrust on him.

C. lxxvii. v. 8. _Suavia comminxit_. This habit, which the filthy Rufus
adopts, is mentioned by Lucretius:

                  _Jungunt salivas_
  _Oris, et inspirant pressantes dentibus ora._
                          Lucret. _lib._ 4.

C. lxxx. v. 6. Martial has a similar expression,

  _Lambebat medios improba lingua viros_.

v. 8. _Ilia, et emulso_. Lucretius uses the word _mulgere_ in the same
sense in lib. 4.

C. lxxxiiii. v. 2. The first notice in the classics of our far-famed 'Arry,
whose female is 'Arriet.--_R. F. B._

C. lxxxviiii. v. 1. The good condition and number of the relations of
Gellius are assigned as the causes of his macilency, Gellius being an
adulterer of the most infamous kind. Thus Propertius, on the amorous
disposition peculiar to those of a spare make,

  What tho' my slender shape enervate seem,
  Think not that vigour flies my meagre frame;
  At Venus' rites I ne'er was known to fail,
  Th' experienc'd fair can this dear truth reveal.
                          Proper., _Eleg._ 22. _lib._ 2.

C. lxxxx. v. 6. _Omentum_. The sages used to draw omens from the entrails
of sacrificed beasts as they were burning; but more particularly from the
_omentum_, or _caul_, that apron of fat which covers the abdominal viscera.

C. lxxxxiiii. v. 1. There is a double meaning in the original, and the
translator can give but half of it. _Mentula_, synonymous with _penis_, is
a nickname applied by Catullus to Mamurra, of whom he says (cxv.) that he
is not a man, but a great thundering _mentula_. Mahérault has happily
rendered the meaning of the epigram in French, in which language there is
an equivalent for Mentula, that is to say, a man's name which is also a
popular synonym for what characterizes the god Priapus. "Jean Chouard
fornique; eh! sans doute, c'est bien Jean Chouard. C'est ainsi qu'on peut
dire que c'est la marmite qui cueille les choux." Achilles Statius
interprets this _distich_ thus, "It is the flesh that is guilty, and not I
who am guilty; so is it the pot that robs the garden, and not the thief
that robs the pot-herbs."

v. 2. _Ipsa olera olla legat_. This may have been a cant proverb of the day
containing a meaning which is now unknown to us. Parthenius interprets it
"A libidinous man is apt in adultery, as a vessel is suited to hold its

C. lxxxxvii. v. 1. There is in the Greek Anthology a similar epigram by
Nicarchus, which has thus been translated by Grotius:

  Non culo, Theodore, minus tibi foetida bucca est
    Noscera discrimen sit sapientis opus.
  Scribere debueras hîc podex est meus, hic os;
    Nunc tu cum pedas atque loquare simul,
  Discere non valeo, quid venerit inde vel inde;
    Vipera namque infra sibilat atque supra.

v. 7. Few are ignorant of what Scaliger here gravely tells us: _fessi muli
strigare solent, ut meiant_. Vossius reads _defissus_, in a different

C. lxxxxviiii. This poem shews beyond contradiction that Catullus himself
was not free from the vice of paederasty, so universal amongst the Roman

v. 10. _Lupae_. The infamous, fetid harlot is called _lupa_ (a she-wolf)
from the ravenousness of the wolf answering to the rapacious disposition of
the generality of courtezans: but Servius, _Aen._ 3, assigns a much more
improper and filthy reason.

C. c. v. 1. Again the Roman paederasty shews itself in Caelius's affection
for Aufilenus.

C. ciii. It appears that Catullus had given a sum of money to the pander
Silo to procure him a mistress. He did not perform his engagement, but kept
the money, and abused our sinning bard when he reproached him with the

C. cv. There are not wanting commentators who give a very obscene turn to
this epigram against Mamurra.

C. cx. v. 4. The word _dare_ has here an erotic sense.

v. 8. _Tota corpore prostituit_. Some commentators think that this alludes
to such women as not only submit to prostitution, but are in every way
subservient to the lascivious caprices of depraved appetites. Vossius
inclines to such an interpretation.

C. cxii. v. 2. _Multus_. Some commentators read _moltus_ in an obscene
sense, _à molendo_. Vossius understands by _descendere in sese_ the same
act as is alluded to in C. lxxxviii., hence the force of the word _multus_,
meaning _cum feminâ_, which he jeeringly applies to Naso as though he would
ironically exclaim: _Et tu feminâ! tu solus es, aut sine feminâ_. He writes
the epigram thus:

  _Multus homo est, Naso, neque secum multus homo qui_
  _Descendit? Naso, multus es et pathicus?_


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