Daniel Dockery

animî nostrî dêbent interdum âlûcinâri

Home of published musician, recording artist, mathematician, programmer, translator, artist, classicist, and general polymath.
Catullus: "How many kisses?" • Daniel Dockery

Catullus: “How many kisses?”

November 3rd, 2009

quæris, quo mihi basiationes
tuæ, Lesbia, sint satis superque.
quam magnus numerus Libyssæ harenæ
lasarpiciferis iacet Cyrenis
oraclum Iouis inter æstuosi
et Batti ueteris sacrum sepulcrum;
aut quam sidera multa, cum tacet nox,
furtiuos hominum uident amores:
tam te basia multa basiare
uesano satis et super Catullo est,
quæ nec pernumerare curiosi
possint nec mala fascinare lingua.

G. Valerius Catullus (84–54 BCE), carmen VII

Translated:

You ask how many of your kisses, love,
would be enough—or more!—for me?
As many as the grains of Libyan sand
lying along silphium-bearing Cyrene
between the oracle of sweltering Jove
and the sacred sepulchre of old Battus;
or as many as the quiet night’s stars
which see the secret loves of men:
to kiss you with that many kisses
might be enough to sate your mad lover!
So many that the curious cannot count
nor evil tongues disdain them.

Happy birthday, Gabriela!

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Daniel Dockery

animî nostrî dêbent interdum âlûcinâri

Home of published musician, recording artist, mathematician, programmer, translator, artist, classicist, and general polymath.