TO CALVUS, ACKNOWLEDGING HIS POEMSDid I not liefer love thee than my eyes
(Winsomest Calvus!), for that gift of thine
Certès I'd hate thee with Vatinian hate.
Say me, how came I, or by word or deed,
To cause thee plague me with so many a bard?
The Gods deal many an ill to such a client,
Who sent of impious wights to thee such crowd.
But if (as guess I) this choice boon new-found
To thee from "Commentator" Sulla come,
None ill I hold it—well and welcome 'tis,
For that thy labours ne'er to death be doom'd.
Great Gods! What horrid booklet damnable
Unto thine own Catullus thou (perdie!)
Did send, that ever day by day die he
In Saturnalia, first of festivals.
No! No! thus shall't not pass wi' thee, sweet wag,
For I at dawning day will scour the booths
Of bibliopoles, Aquinii, Caesii and
Suffenus, gather all their poison-trash
And with such torments pay thee for thy pains.
Now for the present hence, adieu! begone
Thither, whence came ye, brought by luckless feet,
Pests of the Century, ye pernicious Poets.