Tuesday, June 07, 2011

An elegy by Catullus

Little could be further from the dramatic turns of Milton's Lycidas than this simple expression of pure, helpless grief:

By ways remote and distant waters sped
by Gaius Valerius Catullus
translated by Aubrey Beardsley

By ways remote and distant waters sped,
Brother, to thy sad grave-side am I come,
That I may give the last gifts to the dead,
And vainly parley with thine ashes dumb:
Since she who now bestows and now denies
Hath ta'en thee, hapless brother, from mine eyes.
But lo! these gifts, the heirlooms of past years,
Are made sad things to grace thy coffin shell;
Take them, all drenched with a brother's tears,
And, brother, for all time, hail and farewell!

Found on Poets.org

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