MISER CATULLE, DESINAS INEPTIRE ... O POOR CATULLUS ...
Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus) tr. John Frederick Nims
Miser Catulle, desinas ineptire,
et quod vides perisse perditum ducas
fulsere quondam candidi tibi soles,
cum ventitabas quo puella ducebat
amata nobis quantum amabitur nulla.
ibi illa multa tum iocosa fiebant,
quae tu volebas nec puella nolebat.
fulsere vere candidi tibi soles.
nunc iam illa non vult: tu quoque, impotens, noli,
nec quae fugit sectare, nec miser vive,
sed obstinata mente perfer, obdura.
vale, puella! iam Catullus obdurat,
nec te requiret nec rogabit invitam:
at tu dolebis, cum rogaberis nulla.
scelesta, vae te! quae tibi manet vita!
quis nunc te adibit? cui videberis bella?
quem nunc amabis? cuius esse diceris?
quem basiabis? cui labella mordebis?
at tu, Catulle, destinatus obdura.
O poor Catullus, stupid long enough!
See what's before your nose there: gone is gone.
Those were the happy days - miraculous weather! -
when you went tagging after what a girl!
loved as no other ever was or will be.
Fun enough then - the things we did together!
things that I thought of first; she nodded laughing.
Really the happy days - miraculous weather!
Now what I want she's cool to. Never ask her,
ever again. And don't tag after, moping.
Be tougher stuff. Be stiffer. Be like steel!
So it's good-by to her now. Look, I'm steel.
I don't need you! No, never. Don't expect me.
Once you're alone, neglected, you'll be sorry.
You're through now! Damn it, girl, what future's yours?
Who'll call on you? Who'll marvel, "Lord, she's lovely!"
Who'll be your new man? Who'll your name be linked with?
Your lips on - whose? In your own close way, nipping ...?
Catullus, stop! We're steel now. Steel, remember.

Click here 4 for another translation of this poem.

Transl. Copyright © Mrs. Bonnie Nims 1971 - publ. Rutgers University Press


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