The last gift that death demands

Catullus 101, an elegy by the Roman lyric poet (84-54? BCE), translated by G. Lamb (1821)

Brother, I come o’er many seas and lands
To the sad rite which pious love ordains,
 To pay thee the last gift that death demands;
And oft, though vain, invoke thy mute remains:
Since death has ravish’d half myself in thee,
Oh wretched brother, sadly torn from me! 

And now ere fate our souls shall re-unite,
To give me back all it hath snatch’d away,
Receive the gifts, our fathers’ ancient rite
To shades departed still was wont to pay;
Gifts wet with tears of heartfelt grief that tell,
And ever, brother, bless thee, and farewell!


Categories: Literature