QUAERIS, QUOT MIHI BASIATIONES ... HOW MANY KISSES: TO LESBIA
Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus) tr. A. S. Kline
Quaeris, quot mihi basiationes
tuae, Lesbia, sint satis superque.
quam magnus numerus Libyssae harenae
lasarpiciferis iacet Cyrenis
oraclum Iovis inter aestuosi
et Batti veteris sacrum sepulcrum;
aut, quam sidera multa, cum tacet nox,
furtivos hominum vident amores;
tam te basia multa basiare
vesano satis et super Catullo est,
quae nec pernumerare curiosi
possint nec mala fascinare lingua.
Lesbia, you ask how many kisses of yours
would be enough and more to satisfy me.
As many as the grains of Libyan sand
that lie between hot Jupiterís oracle,
at Ammon, in resin-producing Cyrene,
and old Battiades sacred tomb:
or as many as the stars, when night is still,
gazing down on secret human desires:
as many of your kisses kissed
are enough, and more, for mad Catullus,
as canít be counted by spies
nor an evil tongue bewitch us.

Click here 3 for another translation of this poem.

Transl. Copyright © A. S. Kline 2003


next
index
translator's next