by Gaius Valerius Catullus (c84 BCE - 54 BCE)
Translation by Dominick Argento (1927 - 2019)

Wretched Catullus, put an end to this...
Language: English  after the Latin 
Wretched Catullus, put an end to this madness!
That which is over and lost, 
  you must count lost forever: 
Those radiant days that once shone upon you
When you hastened to follow the girl 
  wherever she led you

That same girl whom you loved as no
  other woman will ever be loved --
(Wretched Catullus, put an end to this madness!)
The countless delights in the sports of love,
When what you desired, she desired 
  and desired just as much.
(Wretched Catullus!)
O, radiant indeed were the days 
  that once shone upon you!

Now suddenly she no longer wants your love,
  and you, being helpless must
Give up this longing, cease to pursue her,
Put an end to this torment and madness!
(Wretched Catullus!)

O immortal gods, if you truly have pity,
Tear out from my heart this pestilence,
  this plague
Whose insidious gnawing has driven 
  all joy from my breast.

I no longer ask that this woman should love me.
Nor do I ask the impossible, that she be chaste;
My only wish now is that I be healed, and this
Terrible pain be assuaged.

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Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2010-12-17 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:10
Line count: 29
Word count: 185