Catullus: Poem 31 "Homecoming" (From Latin)

Poem 31: Homecoming
By Gaius Valerius Catullus
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

Jewel of the headlands, blue eye of the islands
That bow on outspread oceans and on slow
Freshwater lakes to Neptune's rule in silence:
I come to you with pleasure, Sirmio1.

I hardly yet believe I've left behind
The Asian1 plains to see you safe at last.
No greater blessing than to feel the mind
Lay down its burden, casting off the past

Journeys' exhaustion, coming back among
The household gods, to the bed for which I longed. 
And this alone repays those many labors. 
Hello, my gorgeous Sirmio! As your man
Is glad, be glad. You too, Lake Garda's wavelets,
Let loose and laugh as only sweet home can.  


1Sirmio, the location of Catullus' country house on Lake Garda.

2Catullus had just returned from Bithynia (modern northeastern Turkey) where he served on the staff of commander Gaius Memmius.

The Original:

Carmen XXXI

Paene īnsulārum, Sirmiō, Īnsulārumque
ocelle, quāscumque in liquentibus stāgnīs
marīque vastō fert uterque neptūnus,
quam tē libenter quamque laetus invīsō,
vix mī ipse crēdēns Thȳniam atque Bithȳnōs
līquisse campōs et vidēre tē in tūtō.
Ō quid solūtīs est beātius cūrīs,
cum mēns onus repōnit, ac peregrīnō
labōre fessī vēnimus larem ad nostrum,
dēsīderātōque acquiēscimus lectō?
Hoc est quod ūnum est prō labōribus tantīs.
Salvē, ō venusta Sirmiō, atque erō gaudē
gaudente; vōsque, ō Lȳdiae lacūs undae,
rīdēte quidquid est domī cachinnōrum.

1 comment:

  1. "A blessed thing it is to bid the mind,
    Burdened with wanderings, cast down such care
    And after years of roiling life abroad
    Rest on the long-dreamt bed and feel home's hearth.
    And all those trials are worth this one reward. "

    I particularly love this part. Fantastic!