The Headington Latin Lament

In Memoriam Freya Dudley

Heu, lugete puellae! Luge, turba sodalis!
    Quae teneram – o miserae! – tam caram amisistis amicam.
Namque ea clara fuit, sapientiaque astra reluxit,
    Digna fuit tanto; sed vos, superi, negavistis.
Vae vos, numina caeli! Cur tam saeva fuistis?
    Vestra nunc opera nos semper flebimus illam.


[Weep girls! Alas, weep, schoolfriends!
You have lost a dear and precious friend.
For she was special, and her brilliance lit up the stars.
She deserved so much, but the gods above said no.
Why, heavenly powers, did you have to be so cruel?
Through your doing we must mourn her for ever.]

© Roy Batters