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This poem is taken from PN Review 188, Volume 35 Number 6, July - August 2009.

Two Poems Catullus

65

Although I’m utterly drained by grief, Hortalus,
   distracted by despair from the know-all Virgins,
My mind’s eye birthing still more stillborns for the Muses,
   vision wobbly to a vanishing-point -
Not long since a wave rose on the full flood of Lethe
   to lap my brother’s death-white foot,
Snatched from my view, buried in a Trojan ditch,
   then crushed beneath the beach at Rhoetum
*
   sentenced never to gaze on your face? Who
I love more than life itself with a capital ‘L’,
   evermore sing sad songs for your dying,
Just as the Daulian pipes between bough and shades,
   mourning Itylus she laments murdering -
Still, in the face of such deep sorrow, Hortalus,
   I will mail you these fine lines of the son
Of Battus, so you’ll know your requests weren’t scattered
...


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