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
Let Us Live and Love (5)
My sweetest Lesbia, let us live and love; And though the sager sort our deeds reprove, Let us not weigh them. Heaven's great lamps do dive Into their west, and straight again revive; But, soon as once set is our little light, Then must we sleep one ever-during night. If all would lead their lives in love like me, Then bloody swords and armor should not be; No drum nor trumpet peaceful sleeps should move, Unless alarm came from camp of love. But fools do live and waster their little light, And seek with pain their ever-during night. When timely death my life and fortune ends, Let not my hearse be vexed with mourning friends; But let all lovers rich in triumph come, And with sweet pastime grace my happy tomb. And, Lesbia, close up thou my little light, And crown with love by ever-during night.