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 On the Death of a Slave
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On the Death of a Slave
by Marcus Valerius Martialis

Dear youth, too early lost, who now art laid
Beneath the turf in green Labicum's glade,
O'er thee no storied urn, no labored bust
I rear to crumble with the crumbling dust;
But tapering box and shadowy vine shall wave,
And grass, with tears bedewed, shall clothe thy grave.
These gifts my sorrowing love to thee shall bring,
Gifts ever fresh and deathless as the Spring.
O when to me the fatal hour shall come,
Mine be as lowly and as green a tomb!

-Translated by Goldwin Smith