AD MARRUCINUM ASINUM

A translation of Catullus 12.
With thanks to my instructor Todd Hearon for his edits and suggestions.

Marrucinus, you used your hand
For joke and wine not well;
You stole my napkin—but I did
At first the theft not tell.

Do you think you are clever?

Does it escape you, fool, that deed which is
As filthy as can be?
Believe me not? Believe Pollio:
Your brother—begged me, he:

“O, sir, forgive my brother, please!
I’ll pay its price in gold,
His deed was just some accident:
Good will instead he holds!”

Your brother is of better mold
(He’s filled with charm and wit!)
But nonetheless I’ll take no gold,
No coin, no! Not one bit.

You see, my napkin is quite cheap
When it’s exchanged for gold,
But it has sentimentality
To me, quite strong and old.

Therefore, either:

Expect three thousand syllables
Penned in poetic form,
With tales of your great error filled
My napkin they shall mourn.

Or bring my napkin back to me
And then I shall forgive.
Since it holds some reminders true
Of friends I miss and love.

Yes, Fabullus and Veranius
Brought it, a gift, to me,
And loved, like how I once loved them,
My napkin, it must be.