Words Against Lesbia: To Furius And Aurelius

Furius and Aurelius, you friends of Catullus,
whether he penetrates farthest India,
where the Eastern waves strike the shore
with deep resonance,
or among the Hyrcanians and supple Arabs,
or Sacians and Parthian bowmen,
or where the seven-mouthed Nile
colours the waters,
or whether he’ll climb the high Alps,
viewing great Caesar’s monuments,
the waters of Gallic Rhine,
and the furthest fierce Britons,
whatever the will of the heavens
brings, ready now for anything,
tell my girl this in a few
ill-omened words.
Let her live and be happy with her adulterers,
hold all three-hundred in her embrace,
truly love-less, wearing them all down
again and again: let her not look for
my love as before,
she whose crime destroyed it, like the last
flower of the field, touched once
by the passing plough.

by Gaius Valerius Catullus

Comments (1)

from a note by A. S. Kline: Furius: ''Probably Marcus Furius Bibaculus, a Cremonese and one of the new poets.'' Aurelius: An unknown friend of Catullus. Hyrcania: A wild country bordering the Caspian Sea. Sacia: A Scythian country bordering the Caspian Sea. Parthia: The Parthian Empire to the south-west of the Caspian Sea was Rome’s enemy in the East. Its mounted archers were particularly effective. Caesar: Gaius Julius Caesar the dictator. Catullus ridicules his homosexuality and his patronage of Mamurra.