Oh how the years fly, Postumus, Postumus,
they’re slipping away, virtue brings no respite
from the wrinkles that furrow our brow,
impending old age, Death the invincible:
not even, my friend, if with three hundred bulls
every day, you appease pitiless Pluto,
jailor of three-bodied Geryon,
who imprisons Tityos by the sad
stream, that every one of us must sail over,
whoever we are that enjoy earth’s riches,
whether we’re wealthy, or whether we are
the most destitute of humble farmers.
In vain we’ll escape from bloodiest warfare,
from the breakers’ roar in the Adriatic,
in vain, on the autumn seas, we’ll fear
the southerly that shatters our bodies:
We’re destined to gaze at Cocytus, winding,
dark languid river: the infamous daughters
of Danaus: and at Sisyphus,
son of Aeolus, condemned to long toil.
We’re destined to leave earth, home, our loving wife,
nor will a single tree, that you planted here,
follow you, it’s briefly-known master,
except for the much-detested cypress.
A worthier heir will drink your Caecuban,
that cellar a hundred keys are protecting,
and stain the street with a vintage wine,
finer than those at the Pontiff’s table.