The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus, by Catullus


Non ideo, Gelli, sperabam te mihi fidum

In misero hoc nostro, hoc perdito amore fore,

Quod te cognossem bene constantemve putarem

Aut posse a turpi mentem inhibere probro,

Sed neque quod matrem nec germanam esse videbam 5

Hanc tibi, cuius me magnus edebat amor.

Et quamvis tecum multo coniungerer usu,

Non satis id causae credideram esse tibi.

Tu satis id duxti: tantum tibi gaudium in omni

Culpast, in quacumque est aliquid sceleris. 10


To Gellius.

Not for due cause I hoped to find thee (Gellius!) faithful

In this saddest our love, love that is lost and forlore,

Or fro’ my wotting thee well or ever believing thee constant,

Or that thy mind could reject villany ever so vile,

But that because was she to thyself nor mother nor sister, 5

This same damsel whose Love me in its greatness devoured.

Yet though I had been joined wi’ thee by amplest of usance,

Still could I never believe this was sufficient of cause.

Thou diddest deem it suffice: so great is thy pleasure in every

Crime wherein may be found somewhat enormous of guilt. 10

Not for other reason, Gellius, did I hope for thy faith to me in this our unhappy, this our desperate love (because I knew thee well nor thought thee constant or able to restrain thy mind from shameless act), but that I saw this girl was neither thy mother nor thy sister, for whom my ardent love ate me. And although I have had many mutual dealings with thee, I did not credit this case to be enough cause for thee. Thou didst find it enough: so great is thy joy in every kind of guilt in which is something infamous.

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