142: Lament for a Sparrow (Catullus)

142: Lament for a Sparrow (Catullus)

Lugete, o Veneres Cupidinesque,
Mourn, O Venuses and Cupids,
et quantum est hominum venustiorum:
And all the company of lovelier people:
passer mortuus est meae puellae,
the sparrow of my girlfriend has died
passer, deliciae meae puellae,
the sparrow, the pet of my girlfriend,
quem plus illa oculis suis amabat. 
whom she loved more than her own little eyes.
nam mellitus erat suamque norat
For he was sugary-sweet and he knew his own
ipsam tam bene quam puella matrem,
mistress as well as a girl her mother,
nec sese a gremio illius movebat,
he did not move himself from her lap,
sed circumsiliens modo huc modo illuc
but hopping around – now this way, now that –
ad solam dominam usque pipiabat.
he used to chirp for his mistress alone.
qui nunc it per iter tenebricosum
Now he goes along that pitch-black road
illuc, unde negant redire quemquam.
in that direction, from where they deny that anyone returns.
at vobis male sit, malae tenebrae
However to you it may go badly, wretched shades of Orcus,
Orci, quae omnia bella devoratis:
who devours everything pretty:
tam bellum mihi passerem abstulistis
you took away from me so pretty a sparrow.
(o factum male! o miselle passer!);
(What a wretched deed! Poor little sparrow!);
vestra nunc opera meae puellae
now the swollen eyes of my girlfriend are made red
flend turgiduli rubent ocelli.
from weeping because of your deed.

-Gaius Valerius Catullus


141: Catullus 2

141: Catullus 2 

Passer, deliciae meae puellae,
Sparrow, the pet of my girlfriend,
quicum ludere, quem in sinu tenere,
with whom she usually plays, whom in her lap she holds,
cui primum digitum dare appetenti
to whom she gives over her fingertip to your pecking
et acris solet incitare morsus,
and provokes your sharp bites.
cum desiderio meo nitenti
When it pleases her shining with longing for me
carum nescioquid lubet iocari,
to make some quaint joke,
et solaciolum solui doloris,
and a little solace for her own anguish,
credo, ut tum gravis acquiescat ardor,
I suppose, so that then this heavy passion subsides;
tecum ludere sicut ipsa possem
Could I but play with you as she
et tristis animi levare curas!
and ease the sad feelings of my soul!

-Gaius Valerius Catullus

140: Late Afternoon Heat

140: Late Afternoon Heat 

Finely cut numbers melt into a liquid lake of sweat
The symbols carelessly run into each other
Pens take effort and energy to glide across the page
The teacher ain’t herself this late afternoon

A bead of sweat rolls down my cheek
Pursuing those numbers melting on my sheet
Chasing the bleeding, hot ink that dabs beneath my fingers
Holding outstretched arms for redemption

Summer’s nearly over
And let’s finish it off with a bang


~ Serendipitous