Catullus 42

Catullus 42

Come here, hendecasyllables, however many of you
Are all about, however many of you there are.
This foul whore thinks me to be a joke
And denies to return your little books
To me, if you are able to endure.
Let us follow her, and again accost her.
You ask who she is? You see her by her
Filthy step, grinning mimicingly and disturbingly
With the face of a Gallic whelp.
Stand about her, and accost her:
“Fetid whore, return the notebooks,
Return, filthy whore, the notebooks.”
You do not give a whit? O filth, whorehouse,
Or if you were able to be anything more loathsome.
But nevertheless this valuation must not be enough.
But, if something else if not enough, I shall
Call you ruddy with the iron face of a dog.
Again, loftier voices, cry out:
“Putrid whore, return the notebooks,
Return, dirty whore, the notebooks.”
But we accomplish nothing; nothing is changed.
Our method and reckoning must be changed,
If you are able to effect anything greater:
“Chaste and honest woman, return the note-books.”

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