Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
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T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
 
To Lesbia, II
By Gaius Valerius Catullus (c. 84–c. 54 B.C.)
 
(Translated by George Lamb, 1821)

THY kisses dost thou bid me count,
And tell thee, Lesbia, what amount
My rage for love and thee could tire,
And satisfy and cloy desire?
 
Many as grains of Libyan sand        5
Upon Cyrene’s spicy land
From prescient Ammon’s sultry dome
To sacred Battus’ ancient tomb:
Many as stars that silent ken
At night the stolen loves of men.        10
 
Yes, when the kisses thou shalt kiss
Have reach’d a number vast as this,
Then may desire at length be stay’d,
And e’en my madness be allay’d:
Then when infinity defies        15
The calculations of the wise;
Nor evil voice’s deadly charm
Can work the unknown number harm.
 
 
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