Catullus Poem 68, Lines 101-160
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ad quam tum properans fertur undique pubes 101 To Troy at that time all the youth of Greece is said to have hastened together,
Graecae penetralis deseruisse focos,
deserting their hearths and homes,
ne Paris abducta gauisus libera moecha 103 that Paris might not enjoy undisturbed leisure in a peaceful chamber,
otia pacato degeret in thalamo.
rejoicing in the abduction of his paramour.
quo tibi tum casu, pulcerrima Laudamia, 105 By that sad chance then, fairest Laodamia,
ereptum est uita dulcius atque anima
wast thou bereft of thy husband, sweeter to thee than life and soul;
coniugium: tanto te absorbens uertice amoris 107 so strong the tide of love, so whelming the eddy that bore thee
aestus in abruptum detulerat barathrum,
into the sheer abyss, deep as that gulf
quale ferunt Grai Pheneum prope Cylleneum 109 which (say the Greeks) near Cyllenian Pheneus
siccare emulsa pingue palude solum,
drains away the swamp, and dries up the rich soil
quod quondam caesis montis fodisse medullis 111 which of old the falsefathered son of Amphitryon is said
audit falsiparens Amphitryoniades,
to have dug out, cutting away the heart of the hill,
tempore quo certa Stymphalia monstra sagitta 113 what time with sure shaft he hit the monsters of Stymphalus
perculit imperio deterioris eri,
at the bidding of a meaner lord,
pluribus ut caeli tereretur ianua diuis, 115 that the door of heaven might be frequented by more gods,
Hebe nec longa uirginitate foret.
and that Hebe might not long be unmated.
sed tuus altus amor barathro fuit altior illo, 117 But deeper than that gulf was thy deep love,
qui tamen indomitam ferre iugum docuit.
which taught thee though untamed to bear the yoke.
nam nec tam carum confecto aetate parenti 119 Not so dear to her agestricken parent
una caput seri nata nepotis alit,
is the head of the lateborn grandchild which his only daughter nurses,
qui cum diuitiis uix tandem iuuentus auitis 121 who, scarce at length appearing as an heir to ancestral wealth,
nomen testatas intulit in tabulas,
and having his name brought into the witnessed tablets,
impia derisi gentilis gaudia tollens, 123 puts an end to the unnatural joy of the kinsman, now in his turn derided,
suscitat a cano uolturium capiti:
and drives away the vulture that waits for the hoary head;
nec tantum niueo gauisa est ulla columbo 125 nor did ever dove delight so much in her snowy mate,
compar, quae multo dicitur improbius
though the dove bites and bills and snatches kisses
oscula mordenti semper decerpere rostro, 127 more wantonly than any woman,
quam quae praecipue multiuola est mulier.
be she amorous beyond others' measure.
sed tu horum magnos uicisti sola furores, 129 You alone surpassed the passion of these,
ut semel es flauo conciliata uiro.
when once you were matched with your goldenhaired husband.
aut nihil aut paulum cui tum concedere digna 131 Even so kind, or but little less, was she,
lux mea se nostrum contulit in gremium,
my bright one, who came into my arms;
quam circumcursans hinc illinc saepe Cupido 133 and often around her flitting hither and thither Cupid
fulgebat crocina candidus in tunica.
shone fair in vest of saffron hue.
quae tamen etsi uno non est contenta Catullo, 135 And though she is not content with Catullus alone,
rara uerecundae furta feremus erae
I will bear the faults, for few they are, of my modest mistress,
ne nimium simus stultorum more molesti. 137 lest we become as tiresome as jealous fools.
saepe etiam Iuno, maxima caelicolum,
Juno, too, greatest of the heavenly ones,
coniugis in culpa flagrantem concoquit iram, 139 often keeps down her anger for her husband's fault,
noscens omniuoli plurima furta Iouis.
as she learns the many loves of all amorous Jove.
atqui nec diuis homines componier aequum est, 141 Yet since it is not fit that men should be compared with gods,
ingratum tremuli tolle parentis onus.
away, then, with the hateful severity of an anxious father.
nec tamen illa mihi dextra deducta paterna 143 And after all she did not come for me led by her father's band
fragrantem Assyrio uenit odore domum,
into a house fragrant with Assyrian odours,
sed furtiua dedit mira munuscula nocte, 145 but gave me in the wondrous night sweet stolen gifts,
ipsius ex ipso dempta uiri gremio.
taken from the very bosom of her husband himself.
quare illud satis est, si nobis is datur unis 147 Wherefore it is enough if to me alone is granted
quem lapide illa dies candidiore notat.
the day which she marks with a whiter stone.
hoc tibi, quod potui, confectum carmine munus 149 This gift -- 'twas all I could -- set forth in verse
pro multis, Alli, redditur officiis,
is returned to you, Allius, for many kind offices;
ne uestrum scabra tangat rubigine nomen 151 lest this and that day, and another and another
haec atque illa dies atque alia atque alia.
should touch your name with corroding rust.
huc addent diui quam plurima, quae Themis olim 153 To this the gods will add those countless gifts which Themis of old
antiquis solita est munera ferre piis.
was wont to give to pious men of ancient time.
sitis felices et tu simul et tua uita, 155 May ye be happy, both you, and with you your dear Life,
et domus illa in qua lusimus et domina,
and the house in which you and I sported, and its mistress,
et qui principio nobis terram dedit aufert, 157 and he who first [ gave and takes land?] for us,
a quo sunt primo omnia nata bona,
from whom first all those good things had their springing for me.
et longe ante omnes mihi quae me carior ipso est, 159 And far before all, she who is dearer to me than myself,
lux mea, qua uiua uiuere dulce mihi est.
my Light, whose life alone makes it sweet to me to live.