Gaius Valerius Catullus

(84-54 BC / Verona, Gaul)

Him Rival to the Gods I Place Poem by Gaius Valerius Catullus


Him rival to the gods I place,
Him loftier yet, if loftier be,
Who, Lesbia, sits before thy face,
Who listens and who looks on thee;

Thee smiling soft. Yet this delight
Doth all my sense consign to death;
For when thou dawnest on my sight,
Ah, wretched! flits my labouring breath.

My tongue is palsied. Subtly hid
Fire creeps me through from limb to limb:
My loud ears tingle all unbid:
Twin clouds of night mine eyes bedim.

Ease is my plague: ease makes thee void,
Catullus, with these vacant hours,
And wanton: ease that hath destroyed
Great kings, and states with all their powers.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 03, 2012

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