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Catullus 7: Quaeris quot mihi basiationes

Quaeris, quot mihi basiationes
tuae, Lesbia, sint satis superque.
quam magnus numerus Libyssae harenae
lasarpiciferis iacet Cyrenis
oraclum Iouis inter aestuosi
et Batti ueteris sacrum sepulcrum;
aut quam sidera multa, cum tacet nox,
furtiuos hominum uident amores:
tam te basia multa basiare
uesano satis et super Catullo est,
quae nec pernumerare curiosi
possint nec mala fascinare lingua.

You ask how many of your kisses, Lesbia
are more than enough for me.
How many grains of Libyan sand
has the stink-weed Sahara cast
between the oracle of sweating Jove
and old King Battus’ holy tomb?
Or when the night is quiet
how many stars look down
on the liaisons of lovers?
More than enough for your crazy Catullus
would be more kisses kissed
than curious could calculate
or the wicked tongued know to hex.


  1. love these poems, thank you, don, and like this translation

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