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O res ridicula!
Nihil durare potest tempore perpetuo.
Cum bene Sol nituit, redditur Oceano.
Decrescit Phoebe, quam modo plena fuit,
Venerum feritas saepe fit aura levia.
Tempus amoris cubiculum non est…
nulla est fides,
perfida omnia sunt.
O vos brutos,
That is utterly ridiculous.
Nothing can endure throughout time everlastingly.
Once the sun has shone brightly, it sets in the Ocean.
The moon wanes, how full it was a short while ago,
Love’s tempest often becomes a gentle breeze.
The time for love is not in the bedroom…
Because the lamp has been taken away
there is no trust,
everything is treacherous.
O, you are dolts,
you are stupid,
you are so dull!
– Gaius Valerius Catullus, Carmina (ca. 55 BCE).
Listen to Carl Orff’s setting of texts from poems of Catullus’s Lesbia cycle in the “Praelusio” section of Carmina Catulli (1942):
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Number of countries thought to possess chemical weapons:
Placebos are more effective if the drugs for which they stand in are said to be more expensive.
In Torrance, California, an African grey parrot named Nigel, who once spoke English with a British accent and had returned home after a four-year absence, began asking for someone named “Larry” and speaking Spanish.
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”