Page images

Catullus to Lesbia.


ILLE mî par esse deo videtur,
Ille, si fas est, superare divos,
Qui sedens adversus identidem te

Spectat et audit

Dulce ridentem. Misero quod omnes Eripit sensus mihi; nam simul te, Lesbia aspexi, nihil est super mî.

Him rival to the gods I place,

Him loftier yet, if loftier be,
Who, Lesbia, sits before thy face,

Who listens and who looks on thee;

Thee smiling soft. Yet this delight

Doth all my sense consign to death ;
For when thou dawnest on my sight,

Ah wretched ! flits my labouring breath.*

* By borrowing from the beautiful Ode of Sappho, which is the prototype if not the original of Catullus, I have filled up the gap, in the sense as well as in the metre, which the Latin presents to us. The first stanza of the Greek closes thus

βροχεως με φωνάς ουδέν έτ' έκει»

[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

My tongue is palsied. Subtly hid

Fire creeps me through from limb to limb: My loud ears tingle all unbid :

Twin clouds of night mine eyes bedim.

Ease is thy plague; ease makes thee void,

Catullus, with these vacant hours, And wanton: ease, that hath destroyed Great kings, and states with all their powers.


Lorace to Pyrrha.

Op. I. 5.

Quis multâ gracilis te puer in rosâ
Perfusus liquidis urget odoribus
Grato, Pyrrha sub antro?

Cui flavam religas comam

Simplex munditiis? Heu quoties fidem
Mutatosque deos flebit, et aspera
Nigris æquora ventis

Emirabitur insolens,

Qui nunc te fruitur credulus aureâ,
Qui semper vacuam, semper amabilem
Sperat, nescius auræ

Fallacis. Miseri, quibus

[merged small][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »