Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE DEAD SPARROW, by GAIUS VALERIUS CATULLUS

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THE DEAD SPARROW, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Ye cupids, droop each little head
Last Line: Receptacle of life's decay.
Alternate Author Name(s): Catullus, Caius Valerius
Subject(s): Sparrows

YE Cupids, droop each little head,
Nor let your wings with joy be spread,
My Lesbia's favourite bird is dead,
Whom dearer than her eyes she loved:
For he was gentle, and so true,
Obedient to her call he flew,
No fear, no wild alarm he knew,
But lightly o'er her bosom moved.

And softly fluttering here and there,
He never sought to cleave the air,
But chirup'd oft, and, free from care,
Tuned to her ear his grateful strain.
Now having pass'd the gloomy bourne
From whence he never can return,
His death and Lesbia's grief I mourn,
Who sighs, alas! but sighs in vain.
Oh! curst be thou, devouring grave!
Whose jaws eternal victims crave,
From whom no earthly power can save,
For thou hast ta'en the bird away:
From thee my lesbia's eyes o'erflow,
Her swollen cheeks with weeping glow;
Thou art the cause of all her woe,
Receptacle of life's decay.

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