Grieving a Death

GRIEF

Grief reached across the world to get me,
sadness carries me across seas and countries
to your grave, my brother,

to offer the only gift I still can give you-
words you will not hear.

Fortune has taken you from me. You.
No reason, nothing fair.
I didn’t deserve losing you.

Now, in the silence since,
as is the ancient custom of our people,
I say the mourner’s prayer,
do the final kindness.

Accept and understand it, brother.
My head aches from crying.
Forever, goodbye.

Gaius Valerius Catullus
(translated by Jacob Rabinowitz)

 

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