The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus, by Catullus


Ille mi par esse deo videtur,

Ille, si fas est, superare divos,

Qui sedens adversus identidem te

Spectat et audit

Dulce ridentem, misero quod omnis 5

Eripit sensus mihi: nam simul te,

Lesbia, aspexi, nihil est super mi

Lingua sed torpet, tenuis sub artus

Flamma demanat, sonitu suopte 10

Tintinant aures geminae, teguntur

Lumina nocte.


Otium, Catulle, tibi molestumst:

Otio exultas nimiumque gestis. 15

Otium et reges prius et beatas

Perdidit urbes.


To Lesbia.

Peer of a God meseemeth he,

Nay passing Gods (and that can be!)

Who all the while sits facing thee

Sees thee and hears

Thy low sweet laughs which (ah me!) daze 5

Mine every sense, and as I gaze

Upon thee (Lesbia!) o’er me strays

My tongue is dulled, my limbs adown

Flows subtle flame; with sound its own 10

Rings either ear, and o’er are strown

Mine eyes with night.


Ease has thy lot, Catullus, crost,

Ease gladdens thee at heaviest cost, 15

Ease killed the Kings ere this and lost

The tallest towns.

He to me to be peer to a god doth seem, he, if such were lawful, to o’er-top the gods, who sitting oft a-front of thee doth gaze on thee, and doth listen to thine laughter lovely, which doth snatch away from sombre me mine every sense: for instant falls my glance on thee, Lesbia, naught is left to me [of voice], but my tongue is numbed, a keen-edged flame spreads through my limbs, with sound self-caused my twin ears sing, and mine eyes are enwrapped with night.

Sloth, O Catullus, to thee is hurtful: in sloth beyond measure dost thou exult and pass thy life. Sloth hath erewhile ruined rulers and gladsome cities.

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