PASSER, DELICIAE MEAE
PUELLAE ...
SPARROW, LITTLE DARLING OF MY LOVE ...
Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus) tr. Arthur McHugh


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 darling's darling, little bird
she likes to play with, to hold in her lap,
to tempt with a finger-tip so as to get a sharp nip -

because my bright-eyed beloved
(I think) cools her fierce passion
and soothes her ache with such fun-and-games -


if only I could play with you the way she does
and so cheer myself up a bit!

Click here 3 for another translation of this poem.

Trans. Copyright © Arthur McHugh 2007


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