The Poetry of Gaius Valerius Catullus/76

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Catullus Poem 76

Si qua recordanti benefacta priora voluptas

est homini, cum se cogitat esse pium,

nec sanctam violasse fidem, nec foedere in ullo

divum ad fallendos numine abusum homines,

multa parata manent in longa aetate, Catulle,

ex hoc ingrato gaudia amore tibi.

nam quaecumque homines bene cuiquam aut dicere possunt

aut facere, haec a te dictaque factaque sunt:

omnia quae ingratae perierunt credita menti.

quare cur tu te iam amplius excrucies?

quin tu animo offirmas atque istinc teque reducis

et dis invitis desinis esse miser?

difficile est longum subito deponere amorem;

difficile est, verum hoc qua libet efficias.

una salus haec est, hoc est tibi pervincendum;

hoc facias, sive id non pote sive pote.

o di, si vestrum est misereri, aut si quibus unquam

extremam iam ipsa in morte tulistis opem,

me miserum adspicite et, si vitam puriter egi,

eripite hanc pestem perniciemque mihi!

hei mihi subrepens imos ut torpor in artus

expulit ex omni pectore laetitias.

non iam illud quaero, contra ut me diligat illa,

aut, quod non potis est, esse pudica velit:

ipse valere opto et taetrum hunc deponere morbum.

o di, reddite mi hoc pro pietate mea.


If there is any pleasure for a man recollecting previous good deeds

when he reflects that he is dutiful

and he has not violated the sacred faith and that he hasn’t

abused the will of the gods in order to trick people in any agreement

then the many enjoyments that you have gotten remain in long life Catullus,

out of this unpleasant love for you.

for whatever men are taken able to say well to anyone or able to do

these things were said and were done by you

all things have perished which have been entrusted to an ungrateful mind

therefore why will you torture yourself further now?

Why do you not stand firm in mind bring yourself back by yourself from that place,

and with the gods unwilling stop being wretched

it is difficult to suddenly put down a long love

it is difficult, but you should do this in whatever way is pleasing

this is the one safety this must be overcome by you

do this whether it is possible or not possible

O gods, if it is yours to feel pity, or if you ever carried

a final aid to anyone in death itself

catch sight of wretched me and if I have lived life purely

then snatch this plague and destruction from me,

which creeping up on me as a numbness into the lowest part of my limbs

expelled joys from all my heart

I no longer seek that she cherish me in return

or because it is impossible that she could consent to remain chaste

I want myself to be well and put away this foul disease

O gods return this to me in exchange for my devotion