LXXVI. A DEAD DESIRE
I suppose it must be true that man takes pleasure
Remembering good deeds that he has done,
Considering his conduct as a treasure -
No promise broken - not a single one -
No god's commandment to him ever broken.
No fellow-man deceived in any fashion;
For you, Catullus, yet is many a token
Of pleasure from your ill-requited passion.
For all the kindness man can show to any
In word or deed, that you have done, I find:
Your kindly words and deeds have been so many -
Yet vainly lavished on a thankless mind,
Why not desist from further bitter scourging
Yourself? Resolve to banish all delusion;
Cease to be sad, defying heaven's urging;
Withdraw yourself completely from illusion.
Ah yes! it's hard, I know, the sudden parting
From one whose voice like bells of heaven sings,
But you must do so. Come now, let's be starting -
Work out how you may best accomplish things.
For your own safety's sake you have to do it -
Impossible or not, it must be done:
O gods above! Have pity! Help me through it
From bitter start to when the goal is won!
Preserve me from this plague, this desolation
(If you consider that my life's been pure
Enough). Oh, save me from a situation
That rots me from within, and now, for sure,
Drives from my heart all trace of former gladness.
No longer do I seek her love. Indeed
Her chastity or otherwise no sadness
Brings to me now. No longer do I heed!
Heal me, O gods above, from this abhorrent
Distemper. Let my virtues be rewarded
Let healing grace flow o'er me in a torrent,
And peace of mind at long last be afforded!