To me that man seems like a god in heaven, seems—may I say it?—greater than all gods are, who sits by you & without interruption watches you, listens to your light laughter, which casts such confusion onto my senses, Lesbia, that when I gaze at you merely, all of my well-chosen words are forgotten as my tongue thickens & a subtle fire runs through my body while my ears deafened by their own ringing & at once my eyes are covered in darkness! Leisure, Catullus. More than just a nuisance, leisure: you riot, overmuch enthusing. Fabulous cities & their sometime kings have died of such leisure.
Gaius Valerius Catullus
Him rival to the gods I place (51)
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.