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V

  • 1Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus
  • 2rumoresque senum seueriorum
  • 3omnes unius aestimemus assis.
  • 4soles occidere et redire possunt;
  • 5nobis, cum semel occidit breuis lux,
  • 6nox est perpetua una dormienda.
  • 7da mi basia mille, deinde centum,
  • 8dein mille altera, dein secunda centum,
  • 9deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum;
  • 10dein cum milia multa fecerimus
  • 11conturbabimus illa ne sciamus
  • 12aut ne quis malus inuidere possit
  • 13cum tantum sciat esse basiorum.

Translation

V

  • 1We should live, my Lesbia, and love
  • 2And value all the talk of stricter
  • 3Old men at a single penny.
  • 4Suns can set and rise again;
  • 5For us, once our brief light has set,
  • Editor’s Note6There's one unending night for sleeping.
  • Editor’s Note7Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred,
  • 8Then another thousand, then a second hundred,
  • 9Then still another thousand, then a hundred;
  • 10Then, when we've made many thousands,
  • Editor’s Note11We'll muddle them so as not to know
  • 12Or lest some villain overlook us
  • 13Knowing the total of our kisses.

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Notes

Editor’s Note
6 nox is also used of a night spent with one's love, cf. English 'date'.
Editor’s Note
7–9 The regular alternation of 'thousand' and 'hundred' suggests the moneygrubber steadily increasing his capital.
Editor’s Note
11–13 conturbare: a financial term rather like our 'cooking the books'. In antiquity 'to count one's blessings was to invite Nemesis and the evil eye' (Fordyce).
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