The Poetry of Gaius Valerius Catullus/84

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Translation of Catullus 84 Elegiac Couplet. Literal English Translation Original Latin Line

[H]arrius said "Hadvantages," if at any time he wished

 to say "Advantages," and "ambushes," "hambushes,"

and then he hoped that he spoke remarkably,

 when he had said "hambushes" as loudly as he could.

I believe, thus his mother, thus his free uncle,

 thus his maternal grandfather and grandmother had spoken.

When he was sent into Syria, everybody's ears found relief:

 they heard the same words lightly and softly,

and afterwards they did not fear such words for themselves,

 when suddenly a messenger brought horrible news,

The Ionian waves, after Arrius had gone to there,

 now are not Ionian but "Hionian."


Chommoda dicebat, si quando commoda vellet

 dicere, et insidias Arrius hinsidias.

et tum mirifice sperabat se esse locutum,

 cum quantum poterat dixerat hinsidias.

Credo, sic mater, sic liber avunculus eius,

 sic maternus avus dixerat atque avia.

Hoc misso in Syriam requierant omnibus aures:

 audibant eadem haec leniter et leviter,

nec sibi postilla metuebant talia verba,

 cum subito affertur nuntius horribilis,

Ionios fluctus, postquam illuc Arrius isset,

 iam non Ionios esse sed Hionios.


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