Carmen LXIX by Catullo


Noli admirari quare tibi femina nulla,

Rufe, velit tenerum supposuisse femur,

non si illam rarae labefactes munere vestis

aut perluciduli deliciis lapidis.

Laedit te quaedam mala fabula, qua tibi fertur

valle sub alarum trux habitare caper.

Hunc metuunt omnes; neque mirum: nam mala valdest

bestia, nec quicum bella puella cubet.

Quare aut crudelem nasorum interfice pestem,

aut admirari desine cur fugiant.

(english translation by Rudy Negemborn)

Wonder not, Rufus, why none of the opposite sex
wishes to place her dainty thighs beneath you,
not even if you undermine her virtue with gifts of choice
silk or the enticement of a pellucid gem.
You are being hurt by an ugly rumour which asserts
that beneath your armpits dwells a ferocious goat.
This they fear, and no wonder; for it's a right rank
beast that no pretty girl will go to bed with.
So either get rid of this painful affront to the nostrils
or cease to wonder why the ladies flee.