I have been reading the complete poems by Catullus for my Masters recently and must admit I have been really enjoying them so I have chosen one of my favourites to share with you today.
Septimius, his belovèd Acme
In his lap, said ‘Acme darling,
If I’m not desperately in love
And set to go on loving you
Forever in utter desperation,
Then lone in Libya or scorched India
I’ll face a lion with green eyes.’
At this Love sneezed, first on the right,
Then on the left, approvingly.
But Acme, lightly tilting back
Her head and kissing her sweet boy’s
Drunken eyes with that rosy mouth,
Said ‘Septimillus, so, my life,
May we always serve this one master
Surely as burns in my soft marrow
A bigger far and fiercer fire.’
At this Love sneezed, first on right,
Then on the left, approvingly,
Now, setting out from this good omen,
With mutual minds they’re loved and love.
Poor Septimius prefers his Acme
To all the Syrias and Britains.
Faithful Acme in her Septimius
Finds all desires and delights.
Who has seen any happier people?
Who a Venus more starry-eyed?
Catullus (translated by Guy Lee)