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Catullus – Carmen VIII

Arnold Böcklin, Lament of the shepherd, 1866

Unhappy Catullus, cease your trifling and what you
see lost, know to be lost.
Once bright days used to shine on you when you used to go
wherever your girl led you, loved by us as never a girl will ever be loved.
There those many joys occurred which you did wish,
nor was the girl unwilling.
 In truth bright days used once to shine on you.
Now she no longer wants you: 
you too, powerless to avail, must not want her,
do not pursue her retreating, do not live unhappy,
but with firm-set mind endure, harden yourself.
Farewell, girl! now Catullus
hardens himself, he will not seek you,
will not ask you since you are unwilling.
But you will be pained, when you are not asked.
Faithless, go your way! what manner of life remains to you? 
Who now will visit you? who find you beautiful? whom will you love now?
Whose will you be called? whom will you kiss? whose lips will you bite?
But you, Catullus, remain firm in your hardness.

Catullo, disgraziato, cessa
di sbattere la testa contro l’impossibile:
é morto, lo vedi, l’amore.
Non devi più pensarci.
E’ un passato distrutto
l’orizzonte dei giorni sereni
quando quel groppo d’amore
che non avrà più l’uguale
ti portava passivo
dove lei ti voleva
a inventare i cento giochi
del suo, del tuo piacere.
Davvero giorni sereni furono quelli.
Ma ormai lei non ti vuole;
e dunque tu cessa, folle,
di inseguire chi ti fugge,
di vivere disperato.