Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"to kiss you with kisses of so great a number..."



You ask, how many kisses of yours, Lesbia, may be enough and to spare for me. As the countless Libyan sands which strew asafoetida-bearing Cyrene between the oracle of sweltering Jove and the sacred tomb of ancient Battus, or as the many stars, when night is silent, look upon the furtive loves of mortals; to kiss you with kisses of so great a number is enough and to spare for passion-driven Catullus: so many that prying eyes may not avail to number, nor ill tongues to bewitch.


Poem 7 from The Carmina of Gaius Valerius Catullus, translation by Leonard C. Smithers, 1894.


Drawing by Mih├íly Zichy (1827–1906)

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