Home  »  library  »  poem  »  “We Twa”

C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

“We Twa”

By Persius (34–62 A.D.)

Translation of William Cranston Lawton

I SPEAK not to the throng. I give my heart—

As the Muse bids me—unto you to sift.

It is my joy to show, O sweet my friend,

To you, how large a part of me is yours.

Strike, and with caution test how much rings true,

What is mere plaster of a varnished tongue.

A hundred voices I might dare to crave,

That I in clearest utterance might reveal

How in my heart’s recesses you are fixed.

So might my words all that unseal which lies,

Not to be uttered, in my heart-strings hid….

Just where the path of life uncertain grows,

And cross-ways lead the doubtful mind astray,

I gave myself to you. My tender years

To your Socratic bosom you received,

I remember well

How the long summer suns I spent with you,

And with you plucked the early hours of night

For our repast. One task there was for both;

Our rest we took together, and relaxed

Our graver fancies at our frugal meal.