Gaius Valerius Catullus

(84-54 BC / Verona, Gaul)

No. 11 Poem by Gaius Valerius Catullus


Aurelius & Furius, true comrades,
whether Catullus penetrates to where in
outermost India booms the eastern ocean's
wonderful thunder;

whether he stops with Arabs or Hyrcani,
Parthian bowmen or nomadic Sagae;
or goes to Egypt, which the Nile so richly
dyes, overflowing;

even if he should scale the lofty Alps, or
summon to mind the mightiness of Caesar
viewing the Gallic Rhine, the dreadful Britons
at the world's far end--

you're both prepared to share in my adventures,
and any others which the gods may send me.
Back to my girl then, carry her this bitter
message, these spare words:

May she have joy & profit from her cocksmen,
go down embracing hundreds all together,
never with love, but without interruption
wringing their balls dry;

nor look to my affection as she used to,
for she has left it broken, like a flower
at the edge of a field after the plowshare
brushes it, passing.

Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003

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