Gaius Valerius Catullus

(84-54 BC / Verona, Gaul)

The God Abandons Antony - Poem by Gaius Valerius Catullus

At midnight, when suddenly you hear
an invisible procession going by
with exquisite music, voices,
don't mourn your luck that's failing now,
work gone wrong, your plans
all proving deceptive--don't mourn them uselessly:
as one long prepared, and full of courage,
say goodbye to her, to Alexandria who is leaving.
Above all, don't fool yourself, don't say
it was a dream, your ears deceived you:
don't degrade yourself with empty hopes like these.
As one long prepared, and full of courage,
as is right for you who were given this kind of city,
go firmly to the window
and listen with deep emotion,
but not with the whining, the pleas of a coward;
listen--your final pleasure--to the voices,
to the exquisite music of that strange procession,
and say goodbye to her, to the Alexandria you are losing.

Comments about The God Abandons Antony by Gaius Valerius Catullus

  • Fabrizio Frosini (9/21/2017 4:58:00 AM)

    [continues from the box below]

    Here is the original Greek text by Kavafis:

    Απολείπειν ο θεός Αντώνιον

    Σαν έξαφνα, ώρα μεσάνυχτ’, ακουσθεί
    αόρατος θίασος να περνά
    με μουσικές εξαίσιες, με φωνές—
    την τύχη σου που ενδίδει πια, τα έργα σου
    που απέτυχαν, τα σχέδια της ζωής σου
    που βγήκαν όλα πλάνες, μη ανωφέλετα θρηνήσεις.
    Σαν έτοιμος από καιρό, σα θαρραλέος,
    αποχαιρέτα την, την Aλεξάνδρεια που φεύγει.
    Προ πάντων να μη γελασθείς, μην πεις πως ήταν
    ένα όνειρο, πως απατήθηκεν η ακοή σου·
    μάταιες ελπίδες τέτοιες μην καταδεχθείς.
    Σαν έτοιμος από καιρό, σα θαρραλέος,
    σαν που ταιριάζει σε που αξιώθηκες μια τέτοια πόλι,
    πλησίασε σταθερά προς το παράθυρο,
    κι άκουσε με συγκίνησιν, αλλ’ όχι
    με των δειλών τα παρακάλια και παράπονα,
    ως τελευταία απόλαυσι τους ήχους,
    τα εξαίσια όργανα του μυστικού θιάσου,
    κι αποχαιρέτα την, την Aλεξάνδρεια που χάνεις.

    (Από τα Ποιήματα 1897-1933, Ίκαρος 1984)
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  • Fabrizio Frosini (9/21/2017 4:52:00 AM)

    Tamara is right:
    ''The God Abandons Antony'' is a poem by Konstantinos Petrou Kavafis.
    C.P. Cavafy, Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Edited by George Savidis. Revised Edition. Princeton University Press,1992
    (Report) Reply

  • (3/31/2009 12:00:00 PM)

    This poem was written in 1911 by the Greek poet Konstantin Kavafis (1863-1933) , not by Catullus. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: courage, music, city, work, dream, god, hope, lost

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003

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