The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus, by Catullus


Saepe tibi studioso animo venante requirens

Carmina uti possem mittere Battiadae,

Qui te lenirem nobis, neu conarere

Telis infestis icere mi usque caput,

Hunc video mihi nunc frustra sumptus esse laborem, 5

Gelli, nec nostras his valuisse preces.

Contra nos tela ista tua evitamus amictu:

At fixus nostris tu dabi’ supplicium.


To Gellius the Critic.

Seeking often in mind with spirit eager of study

How I could send thee songs chaunted of Battiadés,

So thou be softened to us, nor any attempting thou venture

Shot of thy hostile shaft piercing me high as its head —

Now do I ken this toil with vainest purpose was taken, 5

(Gellius!) nor herein aught have our prayers availèd.

Therefore we’ll parry with cloak what shafts thou shootest against us;

And by our bolts transfixt, penalty due thou shalt pay.

Oft with studious mind brought close, enquiring how I might send thee the poems of Battiades for use, that I might soften thee towards us, nor thou continually attempt to sting my head with troublesome barbs — this I see now to have been trouble and labour in vain, O Gellius, nor were our prayers to this end of any avail. Thy weapons against us we will ward off with our cloak; but, transfixed with ours, thou shalt suffer punishment.

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