Lamentatio Aelii Caesaris Hadriano Augusto
He has become a god before he has become a prince.
He was barely alive long enough to be a man,
and hardly did he have time to be an adult.
He was a father and his wife gave birth
to young Lucius Verus before his death.
But another year he would not see
by two weeks and one turning of Ianus.
The Senate chamber would not echo with his praises
only days since Saturn’s bright branches
decored their old and august recesses.
The Legions will not hail him as victorious
nor will his wife join in his numinous genius.
The Empire has been bereft of a leader
when its leader can hardly draw breath without pain
nor walk from one room to the next unassisted.
The year–my last year?–though, cannot
under any circumstances begin on a note
of sadness nor negative auspice.
I know they will defy me, but I do not permit
a public lament for him, nor for the august fathers
to declare him divine before Roma and Venus.
The year grows dim, the dark night persists.
I am tired of gods who have not been men long enough.