The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus, by Catullus

i.

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

i.

Dedication to Cornelius Nepos.

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.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/c/catullus/carmina/poem1.html

Last updated Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 20:37