Flavi, delicias tuas Catullo,
Nei sint inlepidae atque inelegantes,
Velles dicere, nec tacere posses.
Verum nescioquid febriculosi
Scorti diligis: hoc pudet fateri. 5
Nam te non viduas iacere noctes
Nequiquam tacitum cubile clamat
Sertis ac Syrio fragrans olivo,
Pulvinusque peraeque et hic et ille
Attritus, tremulique quassa lecti 10
Nam nil stupra valet, nihil, tacere.
Cur? non tam latera ecfututa pandas,
Nei tu quid facias ineptiarum.
Quare quidquid habes boni malique, 15
Dic nobis. volo te ac tuos amores
Ad caelum lepido vocare versu.
Thy Charmer (Flavius!) to Catullus’ ear
Were she not manner’d mean and worst in wit
Perforce thou hadst praised nor couldst silence keep.
But some enfevered jade, I wot-not-what,
Some piece thou lovest, blushing this to own. 5
For, nowise ‘customed widower nights to lie
Thou ‘rt ever summoned by no silent bed
With flow’r-wreaths fragrant and with Syrian oil,
By mattress, bolsters, here, there, everywhere
Deep-dinted, and by quaking, shaking couch 10
All crepitation and mobility.
Explain! none whoredoms (no!) shall close my lips.
Why? such outfuttered flank thou ne’er wouldst show
Had not some fulsome work by thee been wrought.
Then what thou holdest, boon or bane be pleased 15
Disclose! For thee and thy beloved fain would I
Upraise to Heaven with my liveliest lay.
O Flavius, of thy sweetheart to Catullus thou would’st speak, nor could’st thou keep silent, were she not both ill-mannered and ungraceful. In truth thou affectest I know not what hot-blooded whore: this thou art ashamed to own. For that thou dost not lie alone a-nights thy couch, fragrant with garlands and Syrian unguent, in no way mute cries out, and eke the pillow and bolsters indented here and there, and the creakings and joggings of the quivering bed: unless thou canst silence these, nothing and again nothing avails thee to hide thy whoredoms. And why? Thou wouldst not display such drainèd flanks unless occupied in some tomfoolery. Wherefore, whatsoever thou hast, be it good or ill, tell us! I wish to laud thee and thy loves to the sky in joyous verse.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:06