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Quod amet mulieres, cuiuscunque formoe sint

I meane not to defend the scapes of any,
Or justifie my vices being many,
For I confesse, if that might merite favour,
Heere I display my lewd and loose behaviour.
I loathe, yet after that I loathe, I runne:
Oh how the burthen irkes, that we should shun.
I cannot rule my selfe, but where love please
Am driven like a ship upon rough seas,
No one face likes me best, all faces moove,
A hundred reasons makes me ever love.
If any eie mee with a modest looke,
I burne, and by that blushfiill glance am tooke:
And she thats coy I like for being no clowne,
Me thinkes she should be nimble when shees downe.
Though her sowre looks a Sabines browe resemble,
I thinke sheele doe, but deepely can dissemble.
If she be learned, then for her skill I crave her,
If not, because shees simple I would have her.
Before Callimachus one preferres me farre,
Seeing she likes my bookes, why should we jarre?
Another railes at me, and that I write,
Yet would I lie with her if that I might.
Trips she, it likes me well, plods she, what than?
She would be nimbler, lying with a man.
And when one sweetely sings, then straight I long,
To quaver on her lippes even in her song,
Or if one touch the lute with art and cunning,
Who would not love those hands for their swift running?
And she I like that with a majestie,
Foldes up her armes, and makes low curtesie.
To leave my selfe, that am in love with all,
Some one of these might make the chastest fall.
If she be tall, shees like an Amazon,
And therefore filles the bed she lies uppon:
If short, she lies the rounder: to speake troth,
Both short and long please me, for I love both:
I thinke what one undeckt would be, being drest;
Is she attired, then shew her graces best.
A white wench thralles me, so doth golden yellowe,
And nut-browne girles in doing have no fellowe.
If her white necke be shadowde with blacke haire,
Why so was Ledas, yet was Leda faire.
Amber trest is shee, then on the morne thinke I,
My love alludes to everie historie:
A yong wench pleaseth, and an old is good,
This for her looks, that for her woman-hood:
Nay what is she that any Romane loves,
But my ambitious ranging mind approoves?

load focus Latin (R. Ehwald, 1907)
load focus English (various, 1855)
hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 85
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 86
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
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