Catullus: My Sweetest Lesbia

MY sweetest Lesbia, let us live and love,
And though the sager sort our deedes reprove,
Let vs not way them : heav’ns great lampes doe dive
Into their west, and straight againe revive,
But soone as once set is our little light,
Then must we sleepe one ever-during night.

If all would lead their lives in love like mee,
Then bloudie swords and armour should not be,
No drum nor trumpet peaceful sleepes should move,
Unles alar’me came from the campe of love :
But fooles do live, and wast their little light,
And seeke with paine their ever-during night.

When timely death my life and fortune ends,
Let not my hearse be vext with mourning friends,
But let all lovers rich in triumph come,
And with sweet pastimes grace my happie tombe;
And Lesbia close up thou my little light,
And crown with love my ever-during night.


Translation by Thomas Campion (1567-1620).

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