You said one day that you knew only Catullus,
Lesbia, and you didn't want to hold anyone but me
Then I loved you not as any man loves his friend,
but as a father loves his children
Now I know you: and now the more strongly I burn with love for you,
the cheaper and lighter you are to me.
How is this possible, you ask? Because an injury of this kind
forces a lover to love more, but like less.
Dicebas quondam solum te nosse Catullum
Lesbia, nec prae me velle tenere Iovem.
Dilexi tum te non tantum ut vulgus amicam,
sed pater ut gnatos diligit et generos.
Nunc te cognovi: quare etsi impensius uror,
multo mi tamen es vilior et levior.
Qui potis est, inquis? Quod amantem iniuria talis
cogit amare magis, sed bene velle minus.
Yet another Catullus poem in which he discusses his love for Lesbia. This one contains some weird imagery: we find Catullus comparing his love for Lesbia to the love that a father has for his children (actually the Latin, literally translated, is "sons and sons-in-law", but gnati is used in other poems to mean both sons and daughters, and he adds et generos because sons-in-law were classically considered to be within the "protective concern" of the father). Catullus uses the image here of a father's love for his children because that is an innocent, pure love. After the injury which Catullus refers to (presumably Lesbia has cheated on him), his love is no longer pure, but full of disrespect and even hatred (which he discusses later in Catullus 85, Odi et Amo).
The meter is elegiac couplet, like so many of his other poems about Lesbia.
Latin text from:
Aronson, Andrew C. and Robert Broughner. Catullus and Horace. White Plains, NY: Longman, 1988
Some commentary from:
Fordyce, C. J. Catullus. New York: Oxford University Press, 1961.