David's Lament for Saul and Jonathan
Ludwig Uhland: My sorrow lives in the woods

Catullus: Hail and Farewell


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 taken 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 drenchèd with a brother’s tears,
And, brother, for all time, hail and farewell!

--Gaius Valerius Catullus (ca 85-ca 54 B.C.),  translated by Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898)

Borne through many nations and over many seas,
I have come, my brother, to the sad funeral,
to give you at the last the offering to the dead
and make a speech in vain to your silent ashes,
since fate has stolen you yourself away.
O unhappy brother, unfairly snatched away!
Still meanwhile, by the old custom of our ancestors,
accept now the sad brotherly offering, wet with tears,
and forever and ever, my brother, hail and farewell.

--tr. by Sedulia

Multas per gentes et multa per aequora vectus
advenio has miseras, frater, ad inferias,
ut te postremo donarem munere mortis
et mutam nequiquam adloquerer cinerem,
quandoquidem fortuna mihi tete abstulit ipsum,
heu miser indigne frater adempte mihi.
nunc tamen interea haec, prisco quae more parentum
tradita sunt tristi munere ad inferias,
accipe fraterno multum manantia fletu
atque in perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale.


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