Catullus 42

English Translation Original Latin

Come here, nasty words, so many I can hardly
tell where you all came from.
That ugly slut thinks I'm a joke
and refuses to give us back
the poems, can you believe this shit?
Lets hunt her down , and demand them back!
Who is she, you ask? That one, who you see
strutting around, with ugly clown lips,
laughing like a pesky French poodle.
Surround her, ask for them again!
"Rotten slut, give my poems back!
Give 'em back, rotten slut, the poems!"
Doesn't give a shit? Oh, crap. Whorehouse.
Or if anything's worse, you're it.
But I've not had enough thinking about this.
If nothing else, lets make that
pinched bitch turn red-faced.
All together shout, once more, louder:
"Rotten slut, give my poems back!
Give 'em back, rotten slut, the poems!"
But nothing helps, nothing moves her.
A change in your methods is cool,
if you can get anything more done.
"Sweet thing, give my poems back!"

adeste hendecasyllabi. quot estis
omnes. undique quotquot estis omnes.
iocum me putat esse moecha turpis.
et negat mihi nostra reddituram
pugillaria si pati potestis.
persequamur eam. et reflagitemus.
quae sit quaeritis. illa quam uidetis
turpe incedere mimice ac moleste
ridentem catuli ore Gallicani.
circumsistite eam. et reflagitate.
moecha putida. redde codicillos.
redde putida moecha codicillos.
non assis facis. o lutum. lupanar,
aut si perditius potest quid esse.
sed non est tamen hoc satis putandum
quod si non aliud potest ruborem
ferreo canis exprimamus ore.
conclamate iterum altiore uoce.
moecha putide. redde codicillos.
redde putida moecha moecha codicillos.
sed nil proficimus. nihil mouetur.
mutanda est ratio modusque uobis
siquid proficere amplius potestis.
pudica et proba. redde codicillos.

The translation is a bit rough, but Catullus has a rough feel to it. Most translations of Catullus do not preserve the salty flavor of the original Latin; I have tried to pepper the English text with the modern equivalents of his less tasteful expressions.

The Charles Bukowski Center for Classical Latin Studies by Richard Bullington-McGuire is licensed under Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International