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Addressed to Cynthia

1 Now I no longer fear tragic shades, my Cynthia,
my accounts are all tallied to face my funeral at last.
But the fear that you might be missing from my burial
this is worse than death itself.
The boy is not stuck so lightly to my eyes
that my ashes can be lone, love all forgot.

There, in those blind spaces, the hero Protesilaus
couldn't forget his beautiful wife:
eager, the Thessalian came to his old home a ghost,
trying to touch his pleasure with invisible palms.
There, whatever I'll be, I'll always be called your image:
a great love breaks through the shores of death.
There, let the chorus of beautiful heroines come,
whom Troy's conquest gave to Argive men.
None was as beautiful to me as you, Cynthia,
even (may fair Tellus grant this wish)
should a long old age delay your fate.

Your bones will be washed in my tears.
I hope you'll feel the same if you survive me!
Then I'd be happy to die anywhere.
I'm so afraid unfair Love will drag you from
my grave, Cynthia, with contempt for my burial
and force you unwillingly to dry your falling tears!
The most faithful girl is bent by constant innuendo.

Let's enjoy being lovers while we can:
Love is never long enough.


  • the first Greek killed at Troy. His ghost is allowed to visit his widow, Laodamia; after he does, she kills herself.
  • Earth, goddess of the dead.
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