but more than three are certainly required for that purpose:
Take this kiss and a thousand more, my darling,
W. F. H.
sings Aarestrup, but Catullus outbids him, however, in one of his songs to Lesbia:
A thousand kisses; add five score:
Another thousand kisses more;
Then best forget them all,
Lest any wight with evil eye
Our too close counting might espy,
And dire mishap befall. W. F. H.
As we see, Catullus' love has no trifling start over Aarestrup's, and so a later poet seems likewise to think that even his demands are quite ridiculously small. "Nay," says Joachim du Bellay to his Columbelle, "give me as many kisses as there are flowers on the mead, seeds on the field, and grapes in the vineyards, and so that you shall not deem me ungrateful, I will immediately give you as many again."
Du Bellay, moreover, bitterly upbraids the poet of Verona for asking for so few kisses that they can, when taken together, be counted:
In truth Catullus' wants are small,
And little can they really mean,
Since he could even count them all.
W. F. H.
- From "Various Verses," 1893.