Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
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T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
 
Acme and Septimius
By Gaius Valerius Catullus (c. 84–c. 54 B.C.)
 
(Translated by Sir Charles Elton, 1814)

IN Septimius’ lap entwining,
While his Acme sank reclining;
“If I love thee not,” he cried,
“Oh my Acme! oh my bride!
Even to perdition love thee,        5
And shall feel thy beauties move me,
As the rapid years roll by,
Like men, who love distractedly;
Then, where Afric sands are spread,
Or India’s sun flames overhead,        10
May a lion cross me there,
With his green-eyed angry glare.”
  Love stood listening in delight,
  And sneezed his auspices on the right.
 
Acme, as her lover said,        15
Lightly bending back her head,
And with lips of ruby skimming
His tipsy eyes, in pleasure swimming;
“Septimillus! darling mine!
So may we thus ever twine,        20
Victims vow’d at Cupid’s shrine,
As, with still more keen requitals,
Thou art felt within my vitals!”
  Love stood listening in delight,
  And sneezed his auspice on the right.        25
 
In the heavenly omen blest,
They love, caressing and carest;
The poor youth would lightlier prize
Syria’s groves than Acme’s eyes;
Acme centres in the boy        30
All her longings, all her joy;
Who more bless’d has mortals seen?
When has a kinder passion been?
 
 
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