If ever men can pleasure find
When comes the past before the mind,
In thinking o'er good actions wrought,
Faith plighted kept, no evil sought,
No base deceit by word or act
To set aside a solemn pact,
With impious oaths by gods above,
O then from thy unhappy love,
Catullus, as the long years wane,
Rich store of bliss shall eye remain,
For thou did'st all that lover could
Or do or say in kindly mood.
But all was lost, a thankless mind
Received the gifts and then forgot.
Why wilt thou still fresh anguish find
Remembering her who loves thee not?
make thy soul strong, from love forbear,
And from thy heart her image tear,
And cease, though gods give no relief
To languish in thy present grief.
A love that has through long years grown
Cannot at once aside be thrown;
'Tis a hard task, but it must be,
This hope alone remains for thee,
It must and shall be, come what may,
This passion shall be flung away.
O gods, if ye men's prayers can hear,
And if ye can with pity bend,
And if when death's last pain was near
Ye e'er on earth did succour send,
Behold me plunged in depths of woe,
And if a lifetime I can show
All purely spent, this plague from me
Remove, and set my bosom free;
For now within my heart all joy
This spreading madness doth destroy,
Creeping like torpor through the frame;
Her love I do no longer claim,
Nor do I ask what could not be
That she should live in chastity;
I long for freedom, and to ese
My heart from this most dire disease.
For this alone, ye gods, I pray:
Do ye my goodness thus repay.