Gaius Valerius Catullus (c.84 - c.54 BC)|
Translated by Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)
Lesbia mi dicet semper malè &c
Lesbia for ever on me rails;
To talk on me she never fails:
Yet, hang me, but for all her Art;
I find that I have gain'd her Heart:
My proof is thus: I plainly see
The Case is just the same with me:
I curse her ev'ry hour sincerely;
Yet, hang me, but I love her dearly.
Swift translated Catullus's Carmina xcii on July 18, 1736, and it was first published
in 1746. A transcription of the original manuscript with additional notes can
be found in:
Swift, Jonathan. The Poems of Jonathan Swift. Harold Williams, ed. London: Oxford University Press, 1937.
The first published version was under the title CATULLUS de LESBIA and preceded by the Latin:
LESBIA mî dicit semper male; nec tacet unquam
De me; Lesbia me, dispeream, nisi amat.
Quo signo? Quia sunt totidem mea: Deprecor illam
Assiduè; verum, dispeream, nisi amo.
The translation can also be found in:
Sucre, Natalia. Random House Treasury of Favorite Love Poems, 2nd Edition. New York: Random House, Inc. 2004.