Catullus, Poem 42

How to quote this translation

M = reading of the whole MS tradition
m = reading of part of the MS tradition
P = reading on a papyrus

Adeste, hendecasyllabi, quot estis
omnes undique, quotquot estis omnes.
iocum me putat esse moecha turpis,
et negat mihi nostra nostra Politianus: uestra M reddituram
pugillaria, si pati potestis.5
persequamur eam et reflagitemus.
quae sit, quaeritis? illa, quam uidetis
turpe incedere, mimice ac moleste
ridentem catuli catuli m: catulli m ore Gallicani.
circumsistite eam, et reflagitate,10
‘moecha putida, redde codicillos,
redde, putida moecha, codicillos!’ redde…codicillos om. m
non assis facit facit Halbertsma: facis M : o lutum, lupanar,
aut si perditius potest potest m: potes m quid esse.
sed non est tamen hoc satis putandum.15
quod si non aliud potest, ruborem
ferreo canis exprimamus ore.
conclamate iterum altiore uoce.
‘moecha putida, redde codicillos,
redde, putida moecha, codicillos!’20
sed nil proficimus, nihil mouetur.
mutanda est ratio modusque uobis uobis m: nobis m,
siquid proficere amplius potestis:
‘pudica et proba, redde codicillos.’

Come, hendecasyllables, all of you from every quarter, as many as there are of you. A foul adulteress thinks I am a joke, and refuses to give me back my writing tablets, if you can bear it. [5] Let’s pursue her and demand them back. Which one is she, you ask? That one whom you see strutting about disgracefully, laughing ridiculously and insolently with the mouth of a Gallic dog. Surround her and demand them back: [10] “Filthy adulteress, give back the writing tablets, give back the writing tablets, you filthy adulteress!” She doesn’t care a penny: what a dirty trollop, or any insult still worse than that. But we must not think that this is enough. [15] Even if nothing else can be done, let’s draw a blush from that bitch’s brazen face. Cry out again with louder voice: “Filthy adulteress, give back the writing tablets, give back the writing tablets, you filthy adulteress!” [20] But we are getting nowhere; she is unmoved. You need to change your plan and method, if you can have greater success with this: “Chaste and honest maiden, give back the writing tablets.”

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