The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus, by Catullus

xv.

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.

xv.

To Aurelius — Hands off the Boy!

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.

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