By Strangers' Coasts and Waters


By strangers' coasts and waters, many days at sea,
      I come here for the rites of your unworlding,
Bringing for you, the dead, these last gifts of the living
      And my words–vain sounds for the man of dust.
            Alas, my brother,
You have been taken from me. You have been taken from me,
      By cold chance turned a shadow, and my pain.
Here are the foods of the old ceremony, appointed
      Long ago for the starvelings under the earth:
Take them; your brother's tears have made them wet; and take
      Into eternity my hail and my farewell.


                                            Latin; trans. Robert Fitzgerald


                

Catullus, Latin, trans. Robert Fitzgerald from The Hudson Review V, 1, Spring, 1952.