Treasure Island

Gaius Valerius Catullus

(84-54 BC / Verona, Gaul)

A Warning: to Aurelius


I commend myself and my love to you,
Aurelius. I ask for modest indulgence,
so, if you’ve ever had a desire in your mind
you’ve pursued chastely and purely,
keep this boy of mine modestly safe,
I don’t speak to the masses – nothing to fear
from those who pass to and fro in the streets
occupied with their business –
truly the fear’s of you and your cock
dangerous to both good and bad boys.
Shake it about as you please, and with as much
force as you please, wherever you choose, outside:
I except him from that, with modesty, I think.
But if tempests of mind, and mad passion
impel you to too much sin, you wretch,
so you fill my boy’s head with deceptions,
then let misery, and evil fate, be yours!
Of him whom, with feet dragged apart, an open door,
radishes and mullets pass through.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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  • Louise Deutsch (8/6/2009 10:22:00 PM)

    Catullus is perhaps my favorite poet of the classical world, and this is the poem that made me fall in love with his work. (Report) Reply

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