Translation:Catullus 72

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Catullus 72
by Catullus, translated from Latin by Wikisource
Elegiac Couplet


Literal English Translation Original Latin Line

You once said that you knew only Catullus,
   Lesbia, and you did not want to hold Jove before me.
I loved you not so much as the mob does a harlot,
   but as a father loves his children and sons-in-law.
Now I have known you: therefore, though I am burnt more fiercely,
   still you are much less substantial and insignificant.
How is this so, you ask? Because such an injury drives a lover
   to love more often, but to be less friendly.

Dicebas quondam solum te nosse Catullum,
   Lesbia, nec prae me velle tenere Iovem.
dilexi tum te non tantum ut vulgus amicam,
   sed pater ut gnatos diligit et generos.
nunc te cognovi: quare etsi impensius uror,
   multo mi tamen es vilior et levior.
qui potis est, inquis? quod amantem iniuria talis
   cogit amare magis, sed bene velle minus.

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