The Parting Message to Lesbia, by Catullus

The Parting Message to Lesbia

Companions, who would gladly go
With me through every toil below
To man's remotest seats:
Whether Catullus should explore
Far India, on whose echoing shore
The eastern billow beats:   Whether he seek Hyrcania wild,
The Tartar hordes, or Arabs mild,
Or Parthia's archer train:
Or tread that intersected isle,
Whence pouring forth the sev'n-fold Nile
Discolours all the main.   Whether across the Alps he toil
To view the war-ennobled soil,
Where Caesar's trophies stand;
The Rhine that saw its Gaul's disgrace,
Or dare the painted Briton race
In their extremest land.   Companions dear, prepared to wend
Where'er the gods may place your friend,
And every lot to share;
A few unwelcome words receive,
And to that once-loved fair I leave
My latest message bear.   Still let her live and still be blest
By profligates in hundreds pressed,
Still sport in ease and wealth;
Still of those hundreds love not one,
Still cast off each by turns undone
In fortune and in health.   But let her deem my passion o'er:
Her guilt has crush'd, to bloom no more,
The love her beauty raised;
As droops the flower, the meadow's pride,
Which springing by the furrow's side
The passing share has grased. - Catullus