The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus, by Catullus

xxxxv.

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?

xxxxv.

On Acme and Septumius.

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?

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