Catullus Poem 67
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Catullus   Catullus
O DVLCI iucunda uiro, iucunda parenti, 1 HAIL, house-door, once dear to a well-beloved husband and dear to his father;
salue, teque bona Iuppiter auctet ope,
hail, and may Jupiter bless you with kindly help;
ianua, quam Balbo dicunt seruisse benigne 3 you door, who once, they say, did kindly service to Balbus,
olim, cum sedes ipse senex tenuit,
when the old man himself held the house,
quamque ferunt rursus gnato seruisse maligne, 5 and who since then, as they tell us, are doing grudging service to his son,
postquam es porrecto facta marita sene.
now that the old man is dead and laid out, and you are become the door of a wedded house.
dic agedum nobis, quare mutata feraris 7 Come tell us why you are said to be changed,
in dominum ueterem deseruisse fidem.
and to have deserted your old faithfulness to your master.
Ianua   Door
Non (ita Caecilio placeam, cui tradita nunc sum) 9 It is not -- so may I please Caecilius, whose property I am now become --
culpa mea est, quamquam dicitur esse mea,
it is not my fault, though it is said to be mine,
nec peccatum a me quisquam pote dicere quicquam: 11 nor can any one speak of any wrong done by me.
uerum istius populi ianua qui te facit,
But of course people will have it that the door does it all;
qui quacumque aliquid reperitur non bene factum 13 all of them, whenever any ill deed is discovered,
ad me omnes clamant: ianua, culpa tua est.
cry out to me, "House-door, the fault is yours."
Catullus   Catullus
Non istuc satis est uno te dicere uerbo. 15 It is not enough for you to say that with a single word,
sed facere ut quiuis sentiat et uideat.
but so to do that any one may feel it and see it.
Ianua   Door
Qui possum? nemo quaerit nec scire laborat? 17 How can I? No one asks or cares to know.
Catullus   Catullus
Nos uolumus: nobis dicere ne dubita.
I wish to know -- do not scruple to tell me.
Ianua   Door
Primum igitur, uirgo quod fertur tradita nobis, 19 First then, that she came to us a virgin is untrue.
falsum est. non illam uir prior attigerit,
She did not give her maidenhead to her husband,
languidior tenera cui pendens sicula beta. 21 whose drooping dagger hung down like a soft beet
numquam se mediam sustulit ad tunicam;
and could never rise to the middle of his tunic;
sed pater illius gnati uiolasse cubile 23 his father is said to have violated the bed of his son
dicitur et miseram conscelerasse domum,
and disgraced the wretched home with his crime,
siue quod impia mens caeco flagrabat amore, 25 either because his wicked mind was on fire with blind lust,
seu quod iners sterili semine natus erat,
or because his son was useless and could not have children,
ut quaerendum unde foret neruosius illud, 27 and they had to find a more vigorous thing
quod posset zonam soluere uirgineam.
that could untie her girdle of virginity.
Catullus   Catullus
Egregium narras mira pietate parentem. 29 You are talking about a father of extraordinary affection
qui ipse sui gnati minxerit in gremium.
who urinated in his own son's lap.
Ianua   Door
Atqui non solum hoc dicit se cognitum habere 31 And yet this not only does Brixia say she well knows,
Brixia Cycneae supposita speculae,
Brixia that lies close under the citadel of Chinea,
flauus quam molli praecurrit flumine Mella, 33 the town through which runs the soft stream of golden Melo,
Brixia Veronae mater amata meae,
Brixia dear mother of my own Verona;
sed de Postumio et Corneli narrat amore, 35 but she tells stories about Postumius, and the amours of Cornelius,
cum quibus illa malum fecit adulterium.
with whom she committed wicked adultery.
Catullus   Catullus
dixerit hic aliquis: quid? tu istaec, ianua, nosti, 37 Here some one will say: "What, house-door, do you know all this,
cui numquam domini limine abesse licet,
you who never may be away from your master's threshold,
nec populum auscultare, sed hic suffixa tigillo 39 nor hear the people talk, but fixed under this lintel
tantum operire soles aut aperire domum?
have nothing to do but to shut or open the house?
Ianua   Door
saepe illam audiui furtiua uoce loquentem 41 I have often heard her telling these crimes of hers
solam cum ancillis haec sua flagitia,
with hushed voice alone with her maids,
nomine dicentem quos diximus, utpote quae mi 43 speaking of those by name of whom I spoke; she thought, no doubt,
speraret nec linguam esse nec auriculam.
that I had neither tongue nor ear.
praeterea addebat quendam, quem dicere nolo 45 She added besides one whom I do not choose to mention
nomine, ne tollat rubra supercilia.
by name, lest he should arch his red brows.
longus homo est, magnas cui lites intulit olim 47 He is a tall man, and was once troubled with a great lawsuit,
falsum mendaci uentre puerperium.
from a falsely imputed child-birth.