Two Epigrams by Catullus

Translated by Christopher Childers

 

72.

You used to say I was your only love,
Lesbia, and you’d take me over Jove.
I cared for more than sex—I loved you all,
as a father loves his sons and sons-in-law.
I know you now, and burn more bitterly,
the more you seem cheap and corrupt to me.
How can this be, you ask? Your callousness
drives me to love you more, and like you less.

 

83.

Lesbia bashes me when hubby’s near;
that’s what the imbecile loves most to hear.
You donkey, don’t you see? There’d be no danger
in silence, but she spits and seethes with anger,
so she both thinks about me, and—this matters!—
she’s livid. QED: she burns, and chatters.

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