VIVAMVS, MEA LESBIA, ATQUE
AMEMUS ...
LESBIA'S KISSES
Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus) tr. Brian Cole
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.
Let us live, my Lesbia, let us love
and for all the tattle of stern old men
let us refuse to give a single penny!
Suns may set and then return again,
but if the brief light of our life be extinguished
the one eternal night will cover our sleep.
Give me a thousand, then a hundred kisses,
and then a thousand more, another hundred,
and then a thousand and a hundred more!
If many thousand kisses altogether
are quickly forgotten and the total unreckoned,
then none shall look askance and do us ill
if he has found the number of all our kisses.

Click here 2 for another translation of this poem.

Transl. Copyright © Brian Cole 2007


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