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Addressed partially to Cynthia, partially to third party, and the Nereids

1 Serves me right (I could leave her behind)
I now address lonely sea-birds.
Cassiope is never to be seen guiding my ship,
and all my prayers fall on a deaf shore.
Even the absent winds favor you, Cynthia:
look how the breeze stirs up savage threats.
Is there no chance of the squall calming?
Will this tiny beach cover my corpse?

But you, reform your rude complaining:
night and unjust depths punish me enough.
Could you recall my death with dry eyes,
without my bones to hold to your breast?
God damn him! who first prepared ship and sail
and made a journey on the uninviting deep!
Wasn't it easier to best his mistress' moods
(though hard, she was still a rare girl),
than to look like this for shores crowded by
unknown woods, hoping for the Tyndarids' help?

There, if some accident had buried my grief,
and my final stone was lovingly set,
she'd have donated her own hair to my burial
and sweetly laid my bones with a tender rose.
She'd have wailed my name as the last dirt was flung,
and the earth weighed nothing then to me.

Seaborn daughters of lovely Doris,
loosen shining sails with a gay chorus:
If ever Love has chanced to touch your waves,
leave this ally on familiar shores.


  • harbor town in Corcyra.
  • Castor and Pollux, who appear as St. Elmo's fire, a good omen for sailors in distress. Mainly known as sons of Jupiter, but in the earliest legend, they were sons of Tyndareus, hence Tyndarids.
  • daughter of Oceanus and Tethys and mother of the Nereids.

load focus Latin (Lucian Mueller, 1898)
load focus Latin (Vincent Katz, 1995)
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