The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus, by Catullus


Hunc ego, juvenes, locum, villulamque palustrem,

Tectam vimine junceo, caricisque maniplis,

Quercus arida, rustica conformata securi,

Nunc tuor: magis, et magis ut beata quotannis.

Hujus nam Domini colunt me, Deumque salutant, 5

Pauperis tugurii pater, filiusque coloni:

Alter, assidua colens diligentia, ut herba

Dumosa, asperaque a meo sit remota sacello:

Alter, parva ferens manu semper munera larga.

Florido mihi ponitur picta vere corolla 10

Primitu’, et tenera virens spica mollis arista:

Luteae violae mihi, luteumque papaver,

Pallentesque cucurbitae, et suaveolentia mala,

Vva pampinea rubens educata sub umbra.

Sanguine hanc etiam mihi (sed tacebitis) aram 15

Barbatus linit hirculus, cornipesque capella:

Pro queis omnia honoribus haec necesse Priapo

Praestare, et domini hortulum, vineamque tueri.

Quare hinc, o pueri, malas abstinete rapinas.

Vicinus prope dives est, negligensque Priapus. 20

Inde sumite: semita haec deinde vos feret ipsa.


To Priapus.

This place, O youths, I protect, nor less this turf-builded cottage,

Roofed with its osier-twigs and thatched with its bundles of sedges;

I from the dried oak hewn and fashioned with rustical hatchet,

Guarding them year by year while more are they evermore thriving.

For here be owners twain who greet and worship my Godship, 5

He of the poor hut lord and his son, the pair of them peasants:

This with assiduous toil aye works the thicketty herbage

And the coarse water-grass to clear afar from my chapel:

That with his open hand ever brings me offerings humble.

Hung up in honour mine are flowery firstlings of spring-tide, 10

Wreaths with their ears still soft the tender stalklets a-crowning;

Violets pale are mine by side of the poppy-head pallid;

With the dull yellow gourd and apples sweetest of savour;

Lastly the blushing grape disposed in shade of the vine-tree.

Anon mine altar (this same) with blood (but you will be silent!) 15

Bearded kid and anon some horny-hoofed nanny shall sprinkle.

Wherefore Priapus is bound to requite such honours by service,

Doing his duty to guard both vineyard and garth of his lordling.

Here then, O lads, refrain from ill-mannered picking and stealing:

Rich be the neighbour-hind and negligent eke his Priapus: 20

Take what be his: this path hence leadeth straight to his ownings.

This place, youths, and the marshland cot thatched with rushes, osier-twigs and bundles of sedge, I, carved from a dry oak by a rustic axe, now protect, so that they thrive more and more every year. For its owners, the father of the poor hut and his son — both husbandmen — revere me and salute me as a god; the one labouring with assiduous diligence that the harsh weeds and brambles may be kept away from my sanctuary, the other often bringing me small offerings with open hand. On me is placed a many-tinted wreath of early spring flowers and the soft green blade and ear of the tender corn. Saffron-coloured violets, the orange-hued poppy, wan gourds, sweet-scented apples, and the purpling grape trained in the shade of the vine, [are offered] to me. Sometimes, (but keep silent as to this) even the bearded he-goat, and the horny-footed nanny sprinkle my altar with blood; for which honours Priapus is bound in return to do everything [which lies in his duty], and to keep strict guard over the little garden and vineyard of his master. Wherefore, abstain, O lads, from your evil pilfering here. Our next neighbour is rich and his Priapus is negligent. Take from him; this path then will lead you to his grounds.

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