Latin for ALL Occasions

15 10 2007

Noli admirari, quare tibi femina nulla,
Rufe, uelit tenerum supposuisse femur,
non si illam rarae labefactes munere uestis,
aut perluciduli deliciis lapidis.
laedit te quaedam mala fabula, qua tibi fertur
ualle sub alarum trux habitare caper.
hunc metuunt omnes, neque mirum: nam mala ualde est
bestia, nec quicum bella puella cubet.
quare aut crudelem nasorum interfice pestem,
aut admirari desine cur fugiunt

– Catullus, no.69

No need to wonder why no woman’s willing,
Rufus, to spread her soft thighs under you,
though you sap her resistance with expensive dresses
or rare and translucent gems.
You’re done in by unkind tittle-tattle, which alleges
your armpit’s valley is home to a rank goat.
This everyone fears, and no wonder: it’s a nasty creature
with which no pretty girl would share a bed.
So either kill off this brutal plague of noses
or stop being puzzled why girls run away.

– trans. Peter Green (The Poems of Catullus: A Bilingual Edition; Berkely, 2005)




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