VIVAMVS, MEA LESBIA ... SO LET'S LIVE - REALLY LIVE!
Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus) tr. John Frederick Nims
Vivamvs, mea Lesbia, atque amemus,
rumores - que senum severiorum
omnes unius aestimemus assis.
soles occidere et redire possunt:
nobis cum semel occidit brevis lux,
nox est perpetua una dormienda.
da mi basia mille, deinde centum,
dein mille altera, dein secunda centum,
deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum.
dein, cum multa milia fecerimus,
conturbabimus illa, ne sciamus,
aut ne quis malus invidere possit,
cum tantum sciat esse basiorum.
So let's live - really live!- for love and loving,
honey! Guff of the grumpy old harrumph!-ers
- what's it worth? Is it even worth a penny?
Suns go under and bubble bright as ever
up but - smothered, our little light, the night's one
sudden plunge - and oblivion forever.
Kiss me! kiss me a thousand times! A hundred!
Now a thousand again! Another hundred!
Don't stop yet. Add a thousand. And a hundred.
So. Then post, sitting pretty on our millions,
sums that none - we the least - make head or tail of.
Don't let's know, even us. Or evil eyes might
glitter green, over such a spell of kisses.

Click here 6 for another translation of this poem.

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


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