Translation:Catullus 54

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Catullus 54
by Gaius Valerius Catullus, translated by Wikisource

I beg you, if it’s not too much trouble,
point out where your shade might be.
You, little Camerius, I’ve looked for you,
you, in the Circus, you, in the bookshops,
you, in the sacred shrine of great Jove.
I’ve detained all the girls together
in Pompey’s Arcade, my friend,
whose faces were blank, however.
‘Worst of girls, reveal my Camerius’,
so I demanded of them.
One replied, revealing her nudity...
‘Look he’s hiding in these rosy breasts.’
But, oh it’s a labour of Hercules to bear with you:
as much as your pride denies it, my friend.
Since I’m not that bronze guardian of Crete,
not Ladas or wing-footed Perseus,
since I’m not carried by Pegasus in flight,
nor by Rhesus’s swift snowy-white team,
add to that feathered-feet and swiftness
and the collective speed of the winds,
Camerius you might have said who you were with:
but I’d be weary right down to my marrow
and devoured by excessive fatigue
if I went on searching for you, my friend.
Tell us where you’ll be in future, utter
boldly, commit yourself, trust to the light.
Do the milk-white girls hold you now?
If your tongue’s stuck in your mouth,
you’ll banish all the rewards of love.
Venus delights in copious language.
Or, if you want, fasten your lips,
while letting me share in your loves.