PAENE INSULARUM, SIRMIO,
INSULARUMQUE...
SIRMIO, THOU DEAREST DEAR OF
STRANDS...
Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus)tr. Thomas Hardy
Paene insularum, Sirmio, insularumque
ocelle, quascumque in liquentibus stagnis
marique vasto fert uterque Neptunus,
quam te libenter quamque laetus inviso,
vix mi ipse credens Thyniam atque Bithynos
liquisse campos et videre te in tuto!
o quid solutis est beatius curis,
cum mens onus reponit, ac peregrino
labore fessi venimus larem ad nostrum
desideratoque adquiescimus lecto?
hoc est quod unum est pro laboribus tantis.
salve, o venusta Sirmio, atque ero gaude;
gaudete vosque, o Lydiae lacus undae;
ridete, quidquid est domi cachinnorum.
Sirmio, thou dearest dear of strands
That Neptune strokes in lake and sea,
With what high joy from stranger lands
Doth thy old friend set foot on thee!
Yea, barely seems it true to me
That no Bithynia holds me now,
But calmly and assuringy
Around me stretchest homely Thou.

Is there a scene more sweet than when
Our changing cares are undercast,
And, worn by alien moils and men,
The long untrodden sill repassed,
We press the pined for couch at last,
And find a full repayment there?
Then hail, sweet Sirmio; thou that wast,
And art, mine own unrivalled Fair!

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Published: Penguin Classics, 2001


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