by Gaius Valerius Catullus (c84 BCE - 54 BCE)
Translation by George Gordon Noel Byron, Lord Byron (1788 - 1824)

Ye Cupids, droop each little head
Language: English  after the Latin 
Ye Cupids, droop each little head,
Nor let your wings with joy be spread,
My Lesbia's favourite bird is dead,
  Whom dearer than her eyes she loved:
For he was gentle, and so true,
Obedient to her call he flew,
No fear, no wild alarm he knew,
  But lightly o'er her bosom moved:

And softly fluttering here and there,
He never sought to clear the air,
But chirupped oft, and, free from care,
  Tuned to her ear his grateful strain.
Now having passed the gloomy bourne
From whence he never can return,
His death and Lesbia's grief I mourn,
  Who sighs, alas! but sighs in vain.

Oh! curst be thou, devouring grave
Whose jaws eternal victims crave,
From whom no earthly power can save,
  For thou hast ta'en the bird away:
From thee my Lesbia's eyes o'erflow,
Her swollen cheeks with weeping glow;
Thou art the cause of all her woe,
  Receptacle of life's decay.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Select Poetical Works of Lord Byron, Boston: Phillips, Sampson, & Company, 1852, page 82.


Based on

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2013-07-06
Line count: 24
Word count: 155