The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus, by Catullus

lxviiii.

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

lxviiii.

To Rufus the Fetid.

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?

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