September 28th, 2010

crumpet2

CATULLUS 35

Go, letter, tell him now, the sensitive
poet Caecilius, that he should take
his leave from Como and its pretty lake
and hasten to Verona, where I live.

If he knew what I know, he would devour
the road in getting here, where I can share
the inner thoughts of one for whom we care
although a pretty girl delays the hour

of his departure, throws her arms around
his neck, and begs him stay. The truth is though
it is his poem that set her aglow
the one about Cybele. So profound

her lust to read the rest, I can't refuse
to think her, and not Sappho, the Tenth Muse.
crumpet2

CATULLUS 36

Volusius' histories, such awful shite,
I'll burn them and fulfil my Lesbia's vow
to Cupid and to Venus, that since now
our quarrel's over, poems I wrote in spite

against her should be burned. Here's what she said
'The worst poets' finest verses to the flames
of lame old Vulcan'. She invoked your names
and laughed. Sweet malice gets into her head

sometimes. So here's the deal, you shining pair,
you who rose from the foam, and you, blind boy
whose arrows hurt us - please may I employ
a stratagem? I think that this is fair -

I'll burn instead of my works full of wit,
Volusius' stuff - which is authentic shit.