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Gaius Valerius Catullus
Very little is objectively known of the life of Gaius Valerius Catullus....
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Him rival to the gods I place (51)

 
by Gaius Valerius Catullus
translated by W. E. Gladstone

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.



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