PASSER, DELICIAE MEAE
PUELLAE ...
SPARROW, LITTLE DARLING OF MY LOVE ...
Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus) tr. Brian Cole
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!
Sparrow, little darling of my girl,
how she plays with you, hides you in her bosom
and when you come she offers her fingertips
and teasing tempts your little beak to peck.
When my glowing much-desired belovéd
is pleased to play a little joke on me
and look for some small comfort in her trouble,
then I think the urgent heat is allayed!

If only I, like our mistress, could play with you
and thus relieve the sadness in my heart!

Click here 2 for another translation of this poem.

Trans. Copyright © Brian Cole 2007


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