I do not fear the sad shadows now, my Cynthia, or care about death,
destined for the final fires. But this fear is harder to bear than my
funeral procession, that perhaps my corpse would lack your love.
Cupid has not so lightly clung to my eyelids that my dust can be
void, love forgotten.
The hero, Protesilaus, could not forget his sweet
wife even in the dark region. The Thessalian came as a shade to his
former home, longing with ghostly hands to touch his delight. Whatever
I am there, I will always be known as your shadow. A great love crosses
the shore of death.
Let the choir of lovely women of old come to greet
me there, those whom the spoils of Troy yielded to Argive men, none of
whose beauty shall mean more to me than yours, Cynthia, and (O allow
this, Earth, and be just) though a destined old age keeps you back, your
bones will still be dear to my sad eyes. May you, living, feel this when
I am dust. Then no place of death will be bitter to me. How I fear lest you
ignore my tomb, Cynthia, that some inimical passion will draw you away
from my ashes, and force you, unwillingly, to dry the tears that fall.
Constant threats won't persuade a loyal girl. So
while we can, let there be joy between lovers. No length of time is
enough for lasting love.