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Poetry #243
(published September 8, 2005)
Poem 15
by Catullus
I entrust my loved ones and myself to you, Aurelius.
And I humbly ask a favor from you,
that if you have ever valued anything,
which you might have wished to keep pure and true,
then modestly guard my boy for me,
not I say from the populace, I don't fear
them who just pass by here and there on the street
occupied with their own affairs.
In truth, I am afraid of you and your penis,
hostile to boys, both good and bad.
Because you let it go where it pleases, as it pleases,
as much as you wish. When it is out, you are ready.
This one boy I ask humbly, I feel, you exclude.
For if foul thought and senseless passion drives
you, wretch, to such a crime
that you plan in your mind treason against me,
Then you will have a miserable and ill fate.
Because with feet tied together you will be run
through your backdoor with mullets and radishes.

Catullus was an ancient Roman Epicurean poet. We are not making this up.

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