Alas, dear friend, the fleeting years
In everlasting circles run,
In vain you spend your vows and prayers,
They roll, and ever will roll on.
Should hecatombs each rising morn
On cruel Pluto’s altar dye,
Should costly loads of incense burn,
Their fumes ascending to the sky:
You could not gain a moment’s breath
Or move the haughty king below
Nor would inexorable death
Defer an hour the fatal blow.
In vain we shun the din of war,
And terrors of the stormy main,
In vain with anxious breasts we fear
Unwholesome Sirius’ sultry reign;
We all must view the Stygian flood
That silent cuts the dreary plains,
And Cruel Danaus’ bloody brood
Condemned to everduring pains.
Your shady groves, your pleasing wife,
And fruitful fields, my dearest friend,
You’ll leave together with your life:
Alone the cypress
After your death, the lavish heir
Will quickly drive away his woe;
The wine you kept with so much care
Along the marble floor shall flow.