Wednesday, November 13, 2019

M/M: Counting Kisses: Martial, Epig. 6.34

Basia da nobis, Diadumene, pressa. "Quot?" inquis.
Oceani fluctus me numerare iubes
et maris Aegaei sparsas per litora conchas
et quae Cecropio monte vagantur apes,
quaeque sonant pleno vocesque manusque theatro
cum populus subiti Caesaris ora videt.
Nolo quot arguto dedit exorata Catullo
Lesbia: pauca cupit qui numerare potest.

--Martial, Epig. 6.34

Diadumenus, give me rapid-fire kisses. How many, you ask?
You order me to count the waves of the Ocean,
and the number of shells scattered on the Aegean beaches
and the number of bees wandering over the Athenian mount,
and the number of voices and applause heard in an amphitheater whenever Caesar suddenly appears.
I don't want the amount that Lesbia gave to her Catullus, who made a similar request:
a number of kisses that can be counted is too few.

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