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 Gaius Valerius Catullus     
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Carmen 17
In   by  Catullus.
O Colonia, quae cupis ponte ludere longo,
et salire paratum habes, sed vereris inepta
crura ponticuli axulis stantis in redivivis,
ne supinus eat cavaque in palude recumbat:
sic tibi bonus ex tua pons libidine fiat,
in quo vel Salisubsali sacra suscipiantur,
munus hoc mihi maximi da, Colonia, risus.
Quendam municipem meum de tuo volo ponte
ire praecipitem in lutum per caputque pedesque,
verum totius ut lacus putidaeque paludis
lividissima maximeque est profunda vorago.
Insulsissimus est homo, nec sapit pueri instar
bimuli tremula patris dormientis in ulna.
cui cum sit viridissimo nupta flore puella
et puella tenellulo delicatior haedo,
adseruanda nigerrimis diligentius vuis,
ludere hanc sinit ut lubet, nec pili facit uni,
nec se sublevat ex sua parte, sed velut alnus
in fossa Liguri iacet suppernata securi,
tantundem omnia sentiens quam si nulla sit usquam;
talis iste meus stupor nil videt, nihil audit,
ipse qui sit, utrum sit an non sit, id quoque nescit.
Nunc eum volo de tuo ponte mittere pronum,
si pote stolidum repente excitare veternum,
et supinum animum in gravi derelinquere caeno,
ferream ut soleam tenaci in voragine mula.
In   by  Brendan Rau.
O Cologna, you wish to play on the long bridge
and are ready to jump, but you are weary of the awkward
legs of a little bridge standing on second-hand planks,
lest it go facing upward and settle in the deep swamp:
out of your lust, may the bridge be good for you,
this bridge on which even the rites of Salisubsalus might be undertaken;
so grant me this favor of the greatest laughter, Cologna.
I want a certain townsman of mine to go
plunging headfirst into the mud,
or rather where the lake of the stinking swamp is a blackish-blue hole,
as nearly bottomless as possible.
The man is well nigh witless, and he doesn't sense so well
as a two-year-old boy in the dandling forearm of his sleeping father.
Though he has for a wife a young woman in the freshest flower,
(and the young woman, friskier than a tender little bird,
must be guarded from clusters of very dark grapes),
he lets her play as she pleases; he doesn't care a hair,
and he doesn't rouse himself from his lethargy on his own behalf. But he lies
just like an alder tree in a ditch, an alder tree hamstrung by a Ligmian axe,
sensing everything just as well as if it didn't exist at all.
Such a clod as this one of mine sees nothing and hears nothing,
and he himself doesn't even know whether he exists.
Now I want to send him face down from your bridge,
if that can arouse his dull senility,
and leave his helpless mind in the heavy slime
as a she-mule leaves her iron sandal behind in a glutinous pit.

Taken with kind permission from Brendan
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