Text And TranslationEdit
Meter - elegiac couplet
|Line||Latin text||English translation|
|1||Multās per gentēs et multa per aequora vectus||Carried through many nations and many seas,|
|2||adveniō hās miserās, frāter, ad īnferiās,||I arrive, Brother, at these miserable funeral rites,|
|3||ut tē pstrēmō dōnārem mūnere mortis||So that I might bestow you with the final gift of death|
|4||et mūtam nēquīquam alloquerer cinerem.||And might speak in vain to the silent ash.|
|5||quandoquidem fortūna mihī tētē abstulit ipsum.||Since Fortune has stolen you yourself from me,|
|6||heu miser indignē frāter adēmpte mihi,||Alas, wretched brother stolen undeservedly from me,|
|7||nunc tamen intereā haec, prīscō quae mōre parentum||Meanwhile, however, receive now these flowing with much|
|8||trādita sunt trīstī mūnere ad īnferiās,||Brotherly weeping, these which in the ancient custom|
|9||accipe frāternō multum mānantia flētū,||Of our parents were handed down as a sad gift for funeral rites,|
|10||atque in perpetuum, frāter, avē atque valē.||And forever, Brother, hail and farewell.|
Connotations of the TextEdit
Elegiac couplets were mainly used for love poetry; however, Catullus uses them here to try to express how deep his love for his brother was.
This Poem was written while Catullus was on a sight-seeing journey on his way home from Bithynia. He went via Troad where his brother had died and wrote the poem addressed to him. This is one of several poems in which Catullus tries to cope with the loss of his brother, who had drowned. The last words, "Hail and Farewell", are among Catullus' most famous.