On the Burial of His Brother

By ways remote, and distant waters sped,
Brother to thy sad graveside am I come,
That I may give the last gifts to the dead,
And vainly parley with thy 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 our 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!

Gaius Valerius Catullus (84?-54 BCE)
(translated from the Greek by Aubrey Beardsley)

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