Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
To the Frequenters of a Low Tavern
By Gaius Valerius Catullus (c. 84–c. 54 B.C.)
(From the Carmina; translated by Sir Richard F. Burton, 1894)

SALACIOUS Tavern and ye taverner-host,
From Pileate Brothers the ninth pile-post,
D’ye claim, you only of the mentule boast,
D’ye claim alone what damsels be the best
To swive: as he-goats holding all the rest?        5
Is’t when like boobies sit ye incontinent here,
One or two hundred, deem ye that I fear
Two hundred … at one brunt?
Ay, think so, natheless all your tavern-front
With many a scorpion I will over-write.        10
For that my damsel, fro’ my breast took flight,
By me so lovèd, as shall loved be none,
Wherefor so mighty wars were waged and won,
Does sit in public here. Ye fain, rich wights,
All woo her: thither too (the chief of slights!)        15
All pitiful knaves and by-street wenchers fare,
And thou, (than any worse), with hanging hair,
In coney-breeding Celtiberia bred,
Egnatius! bonnified by beard full-fed,
And teeth with Spanish urine polishèd.        20

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