Gaius Valerius Catullus

84-54 BC / Verona, Gaul


Sirmio, you jewel of all peninsulas
and all the islands of the crystal lakes
and the great oceans Neptune circles,
how delightedly, how gladly, I return,
hardly believing myself I’ve safely left
Thynia and those Black Sea shores behind.

What is better than to be free from care
when the mind throws off its load and, at last,
from foreign journeys, we reach our own home,
sink back to rest on the one bed we longed for?
This is reward enough for all our efforts.
You, welcome sight, O lovely Sirmio, be happy,
and you too, Lydian Lake Garda’s waters,
laugh, with whatever gleaming laughter you have.
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