PHASELLUS ILLE QUEM VIDETIS, ... THE YACHT
Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus) tr. John Hookham Frere
Phasellus ille quem videtis, hospites,
Ait fuisse navium celerimus,
Neque ullius natantis impetum trabis
Nequisse praeter ire, sive palmulis
Opus foret volare sive linteo.
Et hoc negat minacis Hadriatici
Negare litus insulasve Cycladas
Rhodumque nobilem horridamque Thraciam
Propontida, trucemve Ponticum sinum,
Ubi iste post phasellus antea fuit
Comata silva: nam Cytorio in jugo
Loquente saepe sibilum edidit coma.
Amastri Pontica et Cytore buxifer,
Tibi haec fuisse et esse cognitissima
Ait phasellus; ultima ex origine
Tuo stetisse dicit in cacumine,
Tuo imbuisse palmulas in aequore,
Et inde tot per impotentia freta
Erum tulisse, laeva sive dextera
Vocaret aura, sive utrumque Juppiter
Simul secundus incidisset in pedem;
Neque ulla vota litoralibus deis
Sibi esse facta, cum veniret a mari
Novissimo hunc ad usque limpidum lacum.
Sed haec prius fuere: nunc recondita
Senet quiete seque dedicat tibi,
Gemelle Castor et gemelle Castoris.
Stranger, the bark you see before you says
That in old times and in her early days
She was a lively vessel that could make
The quickest voyages, and overtake
All her competitors with sail or oar;
And she defies the rude Illyrian shore,
And Rhodes with her proud harbor, and the seas
That intersect the scattered Cyclades,
And the Propontic and the Thracian coast,
(Bold as it is) to contradict her boast.
She calls to witness the dark Euxine sea
And mountains that had known her as a tree,
Before her transformation, when she stood
A native of the deep Cytorian wood,
Where all her ancestors had flourished long,
And, with their old traditionary song,
Had whispered her responses to the breeze.
And waked the chorus of her sister trees.

Amastris, from your haven forth she went,
You witnessed her first outset and descent,
Adventuring on an unknown element.
From thence she bore her master safe and free
From danger and alarm through many a sea;
Nor ever once was known to lag behind,
Foremost on every tack, with every wind.
At last, to this fair inland lake, she says
She came to pass the remnant of her days,
Leaving no debt due to the Deities
For vows preferred in danger on the seas:
Clear of incumbrance, therefore, and all other
Contentious claims, to Castor or his brother
As a free gift and offering she devotes
Herself, as long as she survives and floats.

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