The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus, by Catullus


Furei, quoi neque servos est neque arca

Nec cimex neque araneus neque ignis,

Verumst et pater et noverca, quorum

Dentes vel silicem comesse possunt,

Est pulchre tibi cum tuo parente 5

Et cum coniuge lignea parentis.

Nec mirum: bene nam valetis omnes,

Pulchre concoquitis, nihil timetis,

Non incendia, non graves ruinas,

Non furta inpia, non dolos veneni, 10

Non casus alios periculorum.

Atqui corpora sicciora cornu

Aut siquid magis aridumst habetis

Sole et frigore et essuritione.

Quare non tibi sit bene ac beate? 15

A te sudor abest, abest saliva,

Mucusque et mala pituita nasi.

Hanc ad munditiem adde mundiorem,

Quod culus tibi purior salillost,

Nec toto decies cacas in anno, 20

Atque id durius est faba et lapillis;

Quod tu si manibus teras fricesque,

Non umquam digitum inquinare possis.

Haec tu commoda tam beata, Furi,

Noli spernere nec putare parvi, 25

Et sestertia quae soles precari

Centum desine: nam sat es beatus.


To Furius Satirically Praising His Poverty.

Furius! Nor chest, nor slaves can claim,

Bug, Spider, nor e’en hearth aflame,

Yet thine a sire and step-dame who

Wi’ tooth can ever flint-food chew!

So thou, and pleasant happy life 5

Lead wi’ thy parent’s wooden wife.

Nor this be marvel: hale are all,

Well ye digest; no fears appal

For household-arsons, heavy ruin,

Plunderings impious, poison-brewin’ 10

Or other parlous case forlorn.

Your frames are hard and dried like horn,

Or if more arid aught ye know,

By suns and frosts and hunger-throe.

Then why not happy as thou’rt hale? 15

Sweat’s strange to thee, spit fails, and fail

Phlegm and foul snivel from the nose.

Add cleanness that aye cleanlier shows

A bum than salt-pot cleanlier,

Nor ten times cack’st in total year, 20

And harder ’tis than pebble or bean

Which rubbed in hand or crumbled, e’en

On finger ne’er shall make unclean.

Such blessings (Furius!) such a prize

Never belittle nor despise; 25

Hundred sesterces seek no more

With wonted prayer — enow’s thy store!

O Furius, who neither slaves, nor coffer, nor bug, nor spider, nor fire hast, but hast both father and step-dame whose teeth can munch up even flints — thou livest finely with thy sire, and with thy sire’s wood-carved spouse. Nor need’s amaze! for in good health are ye all, grandly ye digest, naught fear ye, nor arson nor house-fall, thefts impious nor poison’s furtive cunning, nor aught of perilous happenings whatsoe’er. And ye have bodies drier than horn (or than aught more arid still, if aught there be), parched by sun, frost, and famine. Wherefore shouldst thou not be happy with such weal. Sweat is a stranger to thee, absent also are saliva, phlegm, and evil nose-snivel. Add to this cleanliness the thing that’s still more cleanly, that thy backside is purer than a salt-cellar, nor cackst thou ten times in the total year, and then ’tis harder than beans and pebbles; nay, ’tis such that if thou dost rub and crumble it in thy hands, not a finger canst thou ever dirty. These goodly gifts and favours, O Furius, spurn not nor think lightly of; and cease thy ‘customed begging for an hundred sesterces: for thou’rt blest enough!

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