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Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Translated by Richard O'Connell from the Latin of Tibullus

What is the cause of war and grief that it imparts
but greed for gold, corrupting human hearts;
once long ago there was a golden age
without the curse of jealousy and rage.
Gods of my fathers, save me from the wild
blood lust of war; you knew me as a child
plain and simple, when the herdsman slept
In his low hovel and the faith was kept
by farmers coming to your tree-carved shrines
with thankful gifts of honey cakes and wines.
No battle bugles them, no scarred and torn up earth
but happy songs of harvest and unbridled mirth.
No sieges, rapes and pillage, loudly boasted of,
but lovers in close combat on the bed of love.
Here let me live in peace till I am crowned
with white hair and my offspring clustered round.
Let Peace, bright Peace shine down on our fair fields
blest with the abundance honest labor yields.

Richard O'Connell lives in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Collections of his poetry include RetroWorlds, Simulations, Voyages, and The Bright Tower, all published by the University of Salzburg Press (now Poetry Salzburg).