The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus, by Catullus


Rufe mihi frustra ac nequiquam credite amico

(Frustra? immo magno cum pretio atque malo),

Sicine subrepsti mei, atque intestina perurens

Ei misero eripuisti omnia nostra bona?

Eripuisti, heu heu nostrae crudele venenum 5

Vitae, heu heu nostrae pestis amicitiae.

Sed nunc id doleo, quod purae pura puellae

Savia conminxit spurca saliva tua.

Verum id non inpune feres: nam te omnia saecla

Noscent, et qui sis fama loquetur anus. 10


To Rufus, the Traitor Friend.

Rufus, trusted as friend by me, so fruitlessly, vainly,

(Vainly? nay to my bane and at a ruinous price!)

Hast thou cajoled me thus, and enfiring innermost vitals,

Ravished the whole of our good own’d by wretchedest me?

Ravished; (alas and alas!) of our life thou cruellest cruel 5

Venom, (alas and alas!) plague of our friendship and pest.

Yet must I now lament that lips so pure of the purest

Damsel, thy slaver foul soilèd with filthiest kiss.

But ne’er hope to escape scot free; for thee shall all ages

Know, and what thing thou be, Fame, the old crone, shall declare. 10

O Rufus, credited by me as a friend, wrongly and for naught, (wrongly? nay, at an ill and grievous price) hast thou thus stolen upon me, and a-burning my innermost bowels, snatched from wretched me all our good? Thou hast snatched it, alas, alas, thou cruel venom of our life! alas, alas, thou plague of our amity. But now ’tis grief, that thy swinish slaver has soiled the pure love-kisses of our pure girl. But in truth thou shalt not come off with impunity; for every age shall know thee, and Fame the aged, shall denounce what thou art.

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