The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus, by Catullus


Salve, nec minimo puella naso

Nec bello pede nec nigris ocellis

Nec longis digitis nec ore sicco

Nec sane nimis elegante lingua,

Decoctoris amica Formiani. 5

Ten provincia narrat esse bellam?

Tecum Lesbia nostra conparatur?

O saeclum insapiens et infacetum!


To Mamurra’s Mistress.

Hail, girl who neither nose of minim size

Owns, nor a pretty foot, nor jetty eyes,

Nor thin long fingers, nor mouth dry of slaver

Nor yet too graceful tongue of pleasant flavour,

Leman to Formian that rake-a-hell. 5

What, can the Province boast of thee as belle?

Thee with my Lesbia durst it make compare?

O Age insipid, of all humour bare!

Hail, O maiden with nose not of the tiniest, with foot lacking shape and eyes lacking darkness, with fingers scant of length, and mouth not dry and tongue scant enough of elegance, chère amie of Formianus the wildling. And thee the province declares to be lovely? With thee our Lesbia is to be compared? O generation witless and unmannerly!

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