Catullus 3

Catullus 3

Mourn, o Venuses and Cupids,
and however much is of beautiful men:
a dead sparrow is to my girl,
a sparrow, delight of my girl,
whom she loved more than her own eyes.
For it was honey-sweet and it knew her
herself as well as a girl her mother,
nor did it move itself from her lap,
but, hopping about sometimes here and sometimes there,
to its mistress alone it ceaselessly chirped;
Now it goes along that shadowy journey,
whence shades deny anything return.
And let it be badly for you, evil shades of Orcus,
that devour all beautiful things:
Thus have you stolen the beautiful sparrow from me.
O evil deed! O miserable sparrow!
Now for your pains, the eyes of my girl
are swollen and bloodshot from crying.

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2 responses to “Catullus 3

  1. This is somewhat alright for a literal, structural translation, but as a poetic translation it fails to capture the meaning and the feelings that should have been expressed.

  2. Mourn, Oh Loves and Cupids, and all men of finer feeling: my lady’s pet sparrow is dead …
    Courtesy of my long-ago Latin teacher, Miss Gould.

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