CENABIS BENE, MI FABULLE,
APUD ME ...
WITH LUCK, IN A FEW DAYS YOU'LL EAT
WELL ...
Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus) tr. Arthur McHugh


Cenabis bene, mi Fabulle, apud me
paucis, si tibi di favent, diebus,
si tecum attuleris bonam atque magnam
cenam, non sine candida puella
et vino et sale et omnibus cachinnis.
Haec si, inquam, attuleris, venuste noster,
cenabis bene; nam tui Catulli
plenus sacculus est aranearum.
Sed contra accipies meros amores,
seu quid suavius elegantiusve est:
nam unguentum dabo, quod meae puellae
donarunt Veneres Cupidinesque;
quod tu cum olfacies, deos rogabis
totum ut te faciant, Fabulle, nasum.


With luck, in a few days you'll eat well
at my place, dear Fabullus - provided
you bring me a good big dinner with you -
not to mention a gorgeous girl, wine,
wit and all kinds of laughter.
If, as I say, you bring these with you, you old smoothie,
you'll eat well, because there's nothing but cobwebs
in old Catullus' wallet.
But in return you'll get pure love,
or something that's even more agreeable and fragrant,
because I'll give you the unguent
Venus and Cupid gave my girl-friend,
and when you smell it, Fabullus, you'll ask the Gods
to change you into one huge nose.

Transl. Copyright © Arthur McHugh 2008


next
index
translator's next