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Catullus 5: Vivamus mea Lesbia, atque amemus

Vivamus mea Lesbia, atque amemus,
rumoresque senum severiorum
omnes unius aestimemus assis!
soles occidere et redire possunt:
nobis cum semel occidit brevis lux,
nox est perpetua una dormienda.
da mi basia mille, deinde centum,
dein mille altera, dein secunda centum,
deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum.
dein, cum milia multa fecerimus,
conturbabimus illa, ne sciamus,
aut ne quis malus inuidere possit,
cum tantum sciat esse basiorum.

Lesbia, let’s love and live
no matter what old men tell us
it isn’t worth a cent.
Suns rise and fall all that they want
but when our little light goes out
night’s sleep goes on and on.
Give me a thousand kisses, give me a hundred
give me a thousand others followed by two hundred
followed by another thousand then another hundred
until we’ve kissed so often
no one will know, not even us
nor anyone evil who’d want to curse us
with the number of our kisses.


  1. Very nice translation. This a poem I would like on my bedside table.

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