The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus, by Catullus

lxxxviiii.

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.

lxxxviiii.

On Gellius.

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.

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