Wednesday, June 15, 2011

405 Hymn to my Friend Crispus* (Poems of Exile)

another of my 'translations' from the Latin of Seneca/pseudo-Seneca

Crispus, you are my strength and support, the anchor of my galleon

You are the strong harbour that shelters my shipwreck

My fortress, honour and security:

Under the dear and gentle faith of your shrewd captaincy

Only peace and spiritual rest afflict me.

Nor just for me, for you stand high in public debate

Using your influence only to benefit your clients:

Your heart flows with Athenian honey and

You are the supreme glory of your family’s Name.

To be deprived of you, is to be in exile:

I languish on the surface of this forsaken rock,

But while my spirit is above the soil, it is near to you.

*Gaius Sallustius  Crispus Passienus, a Roman senator active during 1st century AD.  He was consul in 44.  He was step-father to Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbarus, who later became the Emperor Nero.  Seneca celebrated his friendship with Crispus in several epigrams, hoping that he would succeed in gaining Seneca clemency from the Emperor Claudius and thus a reprieve from exile on Corsica.



lucychili said...

a moving story
i don't envy
seneca's life

jabblog said...

A fine tribute to a friend.

Dave King said...

Not the easiest of poems to attempt, but a fine result. Your tribute to him is also a tribute to you.