142: Lament for a Sparrow (Catullus)
Lugete, o Veneres Cupidinesque,
Mourn, O Venuses and Cupids,
et quantum est hominum venustiorum:
And all the company of lovelier people:
passer mortuus est meae puellae,
the sparrow of my girlfriend has died
passer, deliciae meae puellae,
the sparrow, the pet of my girlfriend,
quem plus illa oculis suis amabat.
whom she loved more than her own little eyes.
nam mellitus erat suamque norat
For he was sugary-sweet and he knew his own
ipsam tam bene quam puella matrem,
mistress as well as a girl her mother,
nec sese a gremio illius movebat,
he did not move himself from her lap,
sed circumsiliens modo huc modo illuc
but hopping around – now this way, now that –
ad solam dominam usque pipiabat.
he used to chirp for his mistress alone.
qui nunc it per iter tenebricosum
Now he goes along that pitch-black road
illuc, unde negant redire quemquam.
in that direction, from where they deny that anyone returns.
at vobis male sit, malae tenebrae
However to you it may go badly, wretched shades of Orcus,
Orci, quae omnia bella devoratis:
who devours everything pretty:
tam bellum mihi passerem abstulistis
you took away from me so pretty a sparrow.
(o factum male! o miselle passer!);
(What a wretched deed! Poor little sparrow!);
vestra nunc opera meae puellae
now the swollen eyes of my girlfriend are made red
flend turgiduli rubent ocelli.
from weeping because of your deed.
-Gaius Valerius Catullus