The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 1/Translation from Catullus (Lugete Veneres Cupidinesque)

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TRANSLATION FROM CATULLUS.

LUGETE VENERES CUPIDINESQUE (CARM. III.).[1]

Ye Cupids, droop each little head,
Nor let your wings with joy be spread,
My Lesbia's favourite bird is dead,
Whom dearer than her eyes she lov'd:[2]
For he was gentle, and so true,
Obedient to her call he flew,
No fear, no wild alarm he knew,
But lightly o'er her bosom mov'd:


And softly fluttering here and there,
He never sought to cleave the air,
He chirrup'd oft, and, free from care,[3]
Tun'd to her ear his grateful strain.
Now having pass'd the gloomy bourn,[4]
From whence he never can return,
His death, and Lesbia's grief I mourn,
Who sighs, alas! but sighs in vain.


Oh! curst be thou, devouring grave!
Whose jaws eternal victims crave,
From whom no earthly power can save,
For thou hast ta'en the bird away:
From thee my Lesbia's eyes o'erflow,
Her swollen cheeks with weeping glow;
Thou art the cause of all her woe,
Receptacle of life's decay.


  1. Luctus De Morte Passeris.—[4to. P. on V. Occasions.]
  2. Which dearer.—[4to]
  3. But chirrup'd.—[4to]
  4. But now he's pass'd.—[4to]