One of the poems of the Iuventius Cycle
in the poetry of Catullus
. This song is characterized by the sharp contrast between the passionate expression of his love for the boy
, and the constricting nature of the metre (the hendecasyllabus
) and the syntactic
structure: one composite sentance
, made up of two seperate conditional
s in which the protasis
makes up two lines and the apodosis
one, in a symmetrical (2+1)+(1+2) structure.
Mellitos oculos tuos, Iuventi,
si quis me sinat usque basiare,
usque ad milia basiem trecenta,
nec numquam, videar, satur futurus,
non si densior aridis aristis
sit nostrae seges osculationis.
this is my own as-literal-as-possible translation of the poem:
Your honey-sweet eyes, Iuventius,
If someone should let me kiss again and again,
Again and again I would kiss three hundred thousend times
But never, it seems to me, am I going to be sated,
Not even if denser than the dry ears of corn
Will be the crops of our kissing.