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Mea Lesbia

(My Lesbia) for SATB chorus, a cappella

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Mea Lesbia, commonly known as Catullus 87, consists of two elegiac couplets written by Gaius Valerius Catullus (84 - 54 B.C.E) for his lover, Lesbia. Catullus was only one of Lesbia’s many lovers, and he often wrote of his jealousy and disdain for her unfaithful actions. This elegy was written at a time when Lesbia had been particularly cruel toward Catullus. Despite being broken hearted, his obsession with her never waned. In his despair and desperation, he basically says, “My love for you is so great that no other woman could possibly even know what love is.”


Nulla potest mulier tantum se *dicere amatam
*Vere quantum a me Lesbia amata mea est:

Nulla fides ullo fuit umquam in foedere tanta
Quanta im amore tuo ex parte reperta mea est.


No woman can say that she is truly loved
As much as my Lesbia has been loved by me.

No greater faithfulness was ever in any commitment
As was found in that of my love for you.

*Pronunciation note: the letter ‘c’ is always pronounced like a hard ‘k’; the letter ‘v’ is always pronounced like a ‘w’.

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