Tuesday, September 17, 2013
This boat you see, friends, will tell you that she was the fastest of craft, not to be challenged for speed by any vessel afloat, whether driven by sail or the labour of oars. The threatening Adriatic coast won’t deny it, nor the isles of the Cyclades, nor noble Rhodes, nor fearful Bosphorus, nor the grim bay of the Black Sea where, before becoming a boat, she was leafy wood: for on the heights of Cytorus she often hissed to the whispering leaves. The boat says these things were well known to you, and are, Amastris and box-wood clad Cytorus: she says from the very beginning she stood on your slope, that she dipped her oars in your water, and carried her owner from there over so many headstrong breakers, whether the wind cried from starboard or larboard, or whether Jupiter struck at the sheets on one side and the other, together: and no prayers to the gods of the shore were offered for her, when she came from a foreign sea here, as far as this limpid lake. But that’s past: now hidden away here she ages quietly and offers herself to you, Castor and his brother, heavenly Twins.
Gaius Valerius Catullus