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In mortem psittaci

The parrat from east India to me sent,
Is dead, al-fowles her exequies frequent.
Go goodly birdes, striking your breasts bewaile,
And with rough clawes your tender cheekes assaile.
For wofull haires let piece-torne plumes abound,
For long shrild trumpets let your notes resound.
Why Philomele doest Tereus leudnesse mourne?
All wasting years have that complaint out worne.
Thy tunes let this rare birdes sad funerall borrowe,
Itis is great, but auntient cause of sorrowe.
All you whose pineons in the cleare aire sore,
But most thou friendly turtle-dove, deplore.
Full concord all your lives was you betwixt,
And to the end your constant faith stood fixt.
What Pylades did to Orestes prove,
Such to the parrat was the turtle dove.
But what availde this faith? her rarest hue?
Or voice that howe to change the wilde notes knew?
What helpes it thou wert given to please my wench,
Birdes haples glory, death thy life doth quench.
Thou with thy quilles mightst make greene Emeralds darke,
And passe our scarlet of red saifrons marke.
No such voice-feigning bird was on the ground,
Thou spokest thy words so well with stammering sound.
Envy hath rapt thee, no fierce warres thou movedst,
Vaine babling speech, and pleasant peace thou lovedst.
Behould how quailes among their battailes live,
Which do perchance old age unto them give.
A little fild thee, and for love of talke,
Thy mouth to taste of many meates did balke.
Nuts were thy food, and Poppie causde thee sleepe,
Pure waters moisture thirst away did keepe.
The ravenous vulture lives, the Puttock hovers
Around the aire, the Cadesse raine discovers,
And Crowes survive armes-bearing Pallas hate,
Whose life nine ages scarce bring out of date.
Dead is that speaking image of mans voice,
The Parrat given me, the farre worlds best choice.
The greedy spirits take the best things first,
Supplying their voide places with the worst.
Thersites did Protesilaus survive,
And Hector dyed his brothers yet alive.
My wenches vowes for thee what should I show,
Which storrnie South-windes into sea did blowe?
The seventh day came, none following mightst thou see,
And the fates distaffe emptie stood to thee,
Yet words in thy benummed palate rung,
Farewell Corinna cryed thy dying tongue.
Elisium hath a wood of holme trees black,
Whose earth doth not perpetuall greene-grasse lacke,
There good birds rest (if we beleeve things hidden)
Whence uncleane fowles are said to be forbidden.
There harrnelesse Swans feed all abroad the river,
There lives the Phoenix one alone bird ever.
There Junoes bird displayes his gorgious feather,
And loving Doves kisse eagerly together.
The Parrat into wood receiv'd with these,
Turnes all the goodly birdes to what she please.
A grave her bones hides, on her corps great grave,
The little stones these little verses have.
This tombe approoves, I pleasde my mistresse well,
My mouth in speaking did all birds excell.

load focus Latin (R. Ehwald, 1907)
load focus English (various, 1855)
hide References (6 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (3):
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 2
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 55
    • John Conington, Commentary on Vergil's Aeneid, Volume 1, 6.194
  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), FUNUS
    • Smith's Bio, Moira
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (1):
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