Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Carmen 5

by Gaius Valerius Catullus

Vivamus mea Lesbia, atque amemus,
rumoresque 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 milia multa fecerimus,
conturbabimus illa, ne sciamus,
aut ne quis malus inuidere possit,
cum tantum sciat esse basiorum.

Let us live, my Lesbia, and love,
and the words of strict old men --
let us value them all at a penny.
Suns can set and return,
when once our brief light sets,
we must sleep an everlasting night.
Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred,
then another thousand, then a second hundred,
then, without stopping, another thousand, then a hundred.
Then, when we have made many thousands,
we shall mix them up, so that we don't know,
or so that no one wicked may envy,
when he finds out how many kisses there are!

* * *

In honour of St. Valentine's Day (which is, of course, best known as the feast of Sts. Cyril and Methodius), I thought I'd post something silly and mushy. Why not?

The translation is my own. Meredith helped me a little.


Mark said...

That is indeed a sappy poem. But I like your new header. We Greek nerds need to support one another.

Sheila said...

;) I prefer the terms "Latin nerd" and "Greek geek." ;)

Speaking of which, are you taking/have you taken the National Greek Exam? I'm taking it next week and am getting all full of butterflies about it.