Translation of Catullus 12, in the style of Dr. Seuss

By Madeleine Palden ’18


Marrucinus, why, you’re a dastardly one

To dare steal my napkin while we dined in fun.

You think it amusing? You numbskull, you ass,

Your thievery’s common and base, lacking class!

And though you may scorn me, your brother you can’t,

For he is a shrewd one, who frankly would grant

That he should be pleased if you only could sell

Your thefts for a talent, at least, to use well.

So anticipate three hundred verses or please

Just hand back my napkin to me, little thief.

For cherish it I for its personal worth,

Something beyond all the worths of the earth,

For Fabullus and Veranius sent

That Saetaban napkin from Spain, where they went;

To me they delivered that cloth as a gift,

And from me I won’t let that napkin be snitched!

So see you, Marrucinus, I must care for

My napkin as much as my friends, if not more.

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