Treasure Island

Gaius Valerius Catullus

(84-54 BC / Verona, Gaul)

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Ave atque Vale


Through many countries and over many seas
I have come, Brother, to these melancholy rites,
to show this final honour to the dead,
and speak (to what purpose?) to your silent ashes,
since now fate takes you, even you, from me.
Oh, Brother, ripped away from me so cruelly,
now at least take these last offerings, blessed
by the tradition of our parents, gifts to the dead.
Accept, by custom, what a brother’s tears drown,
and, for eternity, Brother, ‘Hail and Farewell’.

Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003

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Read poems about / on: brother, farewell, fate, sea

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Comments about this poem (Ave atque Vale by Gaius Valerius Catullus )

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  • Leslie Philibert (8/16/2014 10:39:00 AM)

    Iti`s a bit strange that a reviewer tells Catullus to keep on writing, he`s been dead for over two thousand years... (Report) Reply

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    like Leroy implied I'm taken by surprise that any body can make $5851 in 1 month on the computer. did you read this web page www.Work25CoM (Report) Reply

  • Jodysanchez Sanchez (8/16/2013 6:03:00 AM)

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  • Kevin Straw (8/16/2012 1:55:00 PM)

    There is a tremendous irony in hail and farewell. The impact of this poem is in the helplessness and hopelessness of anything the Poet can do in the face of his brother's death. He is hailing no one and saying farewell to no one. If the Poet believed in an afterlife there would be consolation, but he does not. All he can do is go through the motions that custom dictates - but nothing can solace his heart for the loss of his brother - we see a raw grief in the measured prosody of the verse. (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Straw (8/16/2012 11:34:00 AM)

    It should be remembered that this touching out pouring of grief was written in a very rigorous form. (Report) Reply

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