The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus, by Catullus


Quid dicam, Gelli, quare rosea ista labella

Hiberna fiant candidiora nive,

Mane domo cum exis et cum te octava quiete

E molli longo suscitat hora die?

Nescioquid certest: an vere fama susurrat 5

Grandia te medii tenta vorare viri?

Sic certest: clamant Victoris rupta miselli

Ilia, et emulso labra notata sero.


To Gellius.

How shall I (Gellius!) tell what way lips rosy as thine are

Come to be bleached and blanched whiter than wintry snow,

Whenas thou quittest the house a-morn, and at two after noon-tide

Rousèd from quiet repose, wakest for length of the day?

Certès sure am I not an Rumour rightfully whisper 5

What shall I say, Gellius, wherefore those lips, erstwhile rosy-red, have become whiter than wintery snow, thou leaving home at morn and when the noontide hour arouses thee from soothing slumber to face the longsome day? I know not forsure! but is Rumour gone astray with her whisper that thou devourest the well-grown tenseness of a man’s middle? So forsure it must be! the ruptured guts of wretched Virro cry it aloud, and thy lips marked with lately-drained [Greek: semen] publish the fact.

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