Catullus’s (84 BC to 54 BC) dedicatory poem in the book that made him famous for thousands of years to follow, despite his short life.
To whom is the gift of this elegant, little book,
new and dryly polished of pumice?
Cornelius, it is you: for you came to
think something of my trifles—
even as you are the only Italian
Of all the ancient tribes to explain
in learned books—by Jupiter, it was painful.
therefore take whatever little bit
is in this book; and, Patron Virgin,
let it live at least another generation!
Cui dono lepidum nouum libellum
arida modo pumice expolitum?
Corneli, tibi: namque tu solebas
meas esse aliquid putare nugas
iam tum, cum ausus es unas Italorum
omne aeuum tribus explicare cartis
doctis, iuppiter, et laboriosis.
quare habe tibi quidquid hoc libelli
qualecumque; quod, patrona uirgo,
plus uno maneat perenne saeclo!