Adaptation Of A Theme By Catullus

written by

« Reload image

(From the translation by Aubrey Beardsley)

Carmen CI
Past towns, states, deserts, hills and rivers borne
By the first plane, brother, I've come today,
A spirit, to linger at your spiritless clay
That sleeps well-dressed beyond the reach of scorn :
Not glad, lifeless tycoon, nor sorry feel
For neither Bull nor Bear attends your way-
Ah, vanity of speech, what should I say?
The grave encloses you with technical zeal
For Chance, swift giver, may just as swiftly take.
Accept these costly wreaths for my own sake
(Death asks no entrance fee to let you in)
And for the decent sense of heaven and hell:
Take them, and think not much on mortal sin.
Now, brother, time being money, I say farewell.

© Allen Tate