Here I Am, Brother


Screen shot 2014-09-21 at 9.58.31 AM

 

here I am, brother

at this poor grave of yours

all those lands I crossed, all those seas

to fulfill a duty your death demands

to speak words of solace to your silent ashes

to no purpose

since fate has stolen you from me

now, anyway, here they are

these melancholy gifts

our age-old offerings to the dead

take them

wet with your brother’s tears

and forevermore my brother

hail and farewell

 

© 2014 Jim Abbot

 

Multas per gentes et multa per aequora vectus
advenio has miseras, frater, ad inferias,
ut te postremo donarem munere mortis
et mutam nequiquam alloquerer 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.

Catullus 101

 

Background, different translation, and reading of the Latin verses: here

 

Photo by J. MacNeill Taylor

 

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