Sparrow, the Special Delight of My Girl
Sparrow, the special delight of my girl, whom often she teases and holds on her lap and pokes with the tip of her finger, provoking counterattacks with your mordant beak, whenever my luminous love desires something or other, innocuous fun, a bit of escape, I suppose, from her pain, a moment of peace from her turbulent passion, I wish I could play like she does with you and lighten the cares of my sorrowful soul. It thrills me as much as the nimble girl in the story was thrilled by the gilded apple that finally uncinched her virginal gown.
From The Complete Poetry of Catallus, translated by David Mulroy. Copyright © 2002 by David Mulroy. Reprinted by permission of the University of Wisconsin Press. All rights reserved.