The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus, by Catullus


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


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.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52