The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus, by Catullus


Multas per gentes et multa per aequora vectus

Advenio has miseras, frater, ad inferias,

Vt te postremo donarem munere mortis

Et mutam nequiquam adloquerer cinerem,

Quandoquidem fortuna mihi tete abstulit ipsum, 5

Heu miser indigne frater adempte mihi.

Nunc tamen interea haec prisco quae more parentum

Tradita sunt tristes munera ad inferias,

Accipe fraterno multum manantia fletu,

Atque in perpetuom, frater, ave atque vale. 10


On the Burial of His Brother.

Faring thro’ many a folk and plowing many a sea-plain

These sad funeral-rites (Brother!) to deal thee I come,

So wi’ the latest boons to the dead bestowed I may gift thee,

And I may vainly address ashes that answer have none,

Sithence of thee, very thee, to deprive me Fortune behested, 5

Woe for thee, Brother forlore! Cruelly severed fro’ me.

Yet in the meanwhile now what olden usage of forbears

Brings as the boons that befit mournfullest funeral rites,

Thine be these gifts which flow with tear-flood shed by thy brother,

And, for ever and aye (Brother!) all hail and farewell. 10

Through many a folk and through many waters borne, I am come, brother, to thy sad grave, that I may give the last gifts to the dead, and may vainly speak to thy mute ashes, since fortune hath borne from me thyself. Ah, hapless brother, heavily snatched from me. * * * But now these gifts, which of yore, in manner ancestral handed down, are the sad gifts to the grave, accept thou, drenched with a brother’s tears, and for ever, brother, hail! for ever, adieu!

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52