Lugete, o Veneres Cupidinesque,
et quantum est hominum uenustiorum:
passer mortuus est meae puellae,
passer, deliciae meae puellae,
quem plus illa oculis suis amabat.
nam mellitus erat suamque norat
ipsam tam bene quam puella matrem,
nec sese a gremio illius mouebat,
sed circumsiliens modo huc modo illuc
ad solam dominam usque pipiabat;
qui nunc it per iter tenebricosum
illud, unde negant redire quemquam.
at uobis male sit, malae tenebrae
Orci, quae omnia bella deuoratis:
tam bellum mihi passerem abstulistis
o factum male! o miselle passer!
tua nunc opera meae puellae
flendo turgiduli rubent ocelli.

lugete: lugere                           mourn
Veneres: Venus, f.                    Venus, Love
quantum est                             all the company
venustiorum: venustus          charming
passer, m.                                 sparrow
mellitus                                    sweet as honey
norat = noverat: novisse         know
ipsam: ipsa, f.                           the mistress
tam ... quam                             as ... as
gremio: gremium, n.               lap
circumsiliens: circurnsilire     hop round
modo ... modo                          now ... now
usque                                         continually
pipiabat: pipiare                      chirp
tenebricosum: tenebricosus   shadowy, gloomy
negant: negare                         deny, say ... not
tenebrae, f. pI.                          shadows
Orci: Orcus, m.                        Orcus, Hell
bella: bellus                              pretty, lovely
o factum male!                        O evil deed!
miselle: misellus                      wretched little
opera: opera, f.                         doing, deeds
flendo:                                       weeping
turgiduli: rurgidulus              swollen
rubent: rubere                          redden
ocelli: ocellus, m.                     little eye, poor eye

 

Metre: Hendecasyllabic

Discussion Questions

 

  • What is the relationship between the passer and the puella in this poem?
  • What is the effect of the repetition of meae puellae each time in the same metrical position in lines 3, 4 and 17?
  • What is the relevance of the references to the path to the underworld and to Orcus in l. 14?
  • What is the relationship between this poem and Cat. 2?
  • Compare the partially solemn tone of this poem with the solemnity of poem 101. What elements in this poem (no. 3) create a more humorous tone?
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