Thursday, November 17, 2011

Poetry - da mi basia mille

There is a famous Latin poem written by Catullus and it goes like this:

Vivamus mea Lesbia, atque amemus,
rumoresque senum seueriorum
omnes unius aestimemus assis!
soles occidere et redire possunt:
nobis cum semel occidit breuis lux,
nox est perpetua una dormienda.
da mi basia mille, deinde centum,
dein mille altera, dein secunda centum,
deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum.
dein, cum milia multa fecerimus,
conturbabimus illa, ne sciamus,
aut ne quis malus inuidere possit,
cum tantum sciat esse basiorum.

There are many translations of the poem some more literal translations than others but this is the one I like best:

Let us live, my dear, and let us love,
and let us count the opinion
of others as just one penny.
The sun will set and rise again;
Our time together is brief
so before that light has fallen for us
and we must sleep a never ending night,
give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred
then another thousand and a second hundred
then a thousand and a hundred
over and over again.
We will have kissed many a thousand times,
even we will not know how many.
and no one who wishes us ill because he is envious
can hold against us the kisses he cannot count.

I came discovered the poem in the Outlander book series by Diana Gabaldon. The husband inscribed the words da mi basia mille in his wife's wedding ring. I've always thought it was lovely.


Peggy said...

Did you know I took Latin in high school? How Square Peg is that?

Cheryl Houston said...

You're kidding! Do you still remember it?

Peggy said...

vestis virum reddit - the clothes make the man... that was 32 years ago, but it gives you a good base to figure out words