BLACK CAT POEMS
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To Lesbia False
(c. 84-54 B.C.)
translated by Theodore Martin
Catullus, let the wanton go!
No longer play the fool, but deem
For ever lost what thou must know
Is fled for ever like a dream!
Oh, life was once a heaven to thee!
To haunt her steps was rapture then--
That woman loved, as loved shall be
No woman e'er by thee again.
Then didst thou freely taste the bliss,
On which impassioned lovers feed;
When she repaid thee kiss for kiss,
Oh, life was then a heaven indeed!
'Tis past! Forget as she forgets!
Lament no more--but let her go!
Tear from thy heart its mad regrets,
And into very marble grow!
Girl, fare thee well! Catullus ne'er
Will sue, where love is met with scorn;
But, false one, thou with none to care
For thee, shalt pine through days forlorn.
Think, think how drear thy life will be!
Who'll woo thee now? who praise thy charms?
Who now be all in all to thee,
And live but in thy loving arms?
Ay, who will give thee kiss for kiss?
Whose lip wilt thou in rapture bite?
But thou, Catullus, think of this,
And spurn her in thine own despite.
poems by Catullus