PASSER, DELICIAE MEAE
PUELLAE ...
MY SWEETHEART’S PET, HER DARLING
SPARROW ...
Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus) tr. Colin Sydenham
Passer, deliciae meae puellae,
quicum ludere, quem in sinu tenere,
cui primum digitum dare appetenti
et acris solet incitare morsus,
cum desiderio meo nitenti
carum nescio quid lubet iocari,
et solaciolum sui doloris
credo, ut tum gravis acquiescat ardor:

tecum ludere sicut ipsa possem
et tristis animi levare curas!
My sweetheart’s pet, her darling sparrow, whom
she loves to tease and hold upon her breast,
she tickles you, provokes your furious
pecking, while she, with burning need possessed
for me (or so I think), devises some
new show of playful love for you, some balm
for her intense emotion, so that thus
she may her painful inner turmoil calm.

Would that I too, like her, with you could play,
and, playing, drive my soul’s unease away.

Click here 1 for another translation of this poem.

Trans. Copyright © Colin Sydenham 2006


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