The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus, by Catullus


Quintia formosast multis, mihi candida, longa,

Rectast. haec ego sic singula confiteor,

Totum illud formosa nego: nam nulla venustas,

Nulla in tam magnost corpore mica salis.

Lesbia formosast, quae cum pulcherrima totast, 5

Tum omnibus una omnes surripuit Veneres.


Of Quintia.

Quintia beautiful seems to the crowd; to me, fair, and tall,

Straight; and merits as these readily thus I confess,

But that she is beauteous all I deny, for nothing of lovesome,

Never a grain of salt, shows in her person so large.

Lesbia beautiful seems, and when all over she’s fairest, 5

Any Venus-gift stole she from every one.

Quintia is lovely to many; to me she is fair, tall, and shapely. Each of these qualities I grant. But that all these make loveliness I deny: for nothing of beauty nor scintilla of sprightliness is in her body so massive. Lesbia is lovely, for whilst the whole of her is most beautiful, she has stolen for herself every love-charm from all her sex.

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