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Fortunate pair! 911 Museum Memorial HallIf there be any power
within my poetry, no day shall ever
erase you from the memory of time.

[Fortunati ambo! Siquid mea carmina possunt,
nulla dies umquam memori vos eximet aevo.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
The Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 9, l. 447ff (9.447-448) (29-19 BC) [tr. Mandelbaum (1971), l. 592ff]

On the deaths of Nisus and Euryalus, lying after battle in each other's arms. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City (see image) uses a variant of this ("No day shall erase you from the memory of time"), though some have questioned the contextual propriety.

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

O happy friends! for, if my verse can give
Immortal life, your fame shall ever live.
[tr. Dryden (1697)]

Happy pair! if my verses can aught avail, no day shall ever erase you from the records of time.
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

Blest pair! if aught my verse avail,
No day shall make your memory fail.
[tr. Conington (1866)]

Ay, happy pair! If aught my verse can do,
No lapse of time shall ever dim your fame,
[tr. Cranch (1872), l. 551]

Happy pair! if my verse is aught of avail, no length of days shall ever blot you from the memory of time.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

O happy twain, if anywise my song-craft may avail,
From out the memory of the world no day shall blot your tale.
[tr. Morris (1900)]

O happy pair! if aught my verse ensure,
No length of time shall make your memory wane,
[tr. Taylor (1907), st. 57, ll. 510-11]

Heroic pair and blest! If aught I sing
have lasting music, no remotest age
shall blot your names from honor's storied scroll.
[tr. Williams (1910), l. 446ff]

Happy pair! If aught my verse avail, no day shall ever blot you from the memory of time.
[tr. Fairclough (1918)]

Fortunate boys!
If there is any power in my verses,
You will not be forgotten in time and story.
[tr. Humphries (1951)]

Ah, fortunate pair! if my poetry has any influence,
Time in its passing shall never obliterate your memory.
[tr. Day-Lewis (1952)]

Fortunate, both! If in the least my songs
Avail, no future day will ever take you
Out of the record of remembering Time.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981), l. 633ff]

Fortune has favored you both! If there is any power in my poetry, the day will never come when time will erase you from the memory of man.
[tr. West (1990)]

Happy pair! If my poetry has the power, [...]
no day will raze you from time’s memory.
[tr. Kline (2002)]

Happy pair,
If my poetry has any power
Never shall you be blotted from memory.
[tr. Lombardo (2005)]

How fortunate, both at once!
If my songs have any power, the day will never dawn
that wipes you from the memory of the ages.
[tr. Fagles (2006)]

Lucky pair! If my song has any power, no day will steal you from time's memory.
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

Added on 25-Jan-23 | Last updated 25-Jan-23
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More quotes by Virgil

Claudia Peregrina weds my Pudens.
Bless your torches, Hymen! Let them shine!
So aptly nard is mixed with cinnamon,
and Theseus’ honeycombs with Massic wine.
So well weak vines are joined to elms; the lotus
loves water thus, while myrtle loves the shore.
Fair Harmony, dwell always in their bed,
and Venus bless the couple evermore.
Let her still love him when he’s old someday;
may she seem young to him, even when she’s gray.

[Claudia, Rufe, meo nubit Peregrina Pudenti:
Macte esto taedis, o Hymenaee, tuis.
Tam bene rara suo miscentur cinnama nardo,
Massica Theseis tam bene vina favis;
Nec melius teneris iunguntur vitibus ulmi,
Nec plus lotos aquas, litora myrtus amat.
Candida perpetuo reside, Concordia, lecto,
Tamque pari semper sit Venus aequa iugo:
Diligat illa senem quondam, sed et ipsa marito
Tum quoque, cum fuerit, non videatur anus.]

Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 4, epigram 13 (4.13) [tr. McLean (2014)]

Webb (below) notes that Claudia (based on ep. 4.53) may have been from Britain, hence the allusion to combining native (Massic) wine with foreign (Theseus' / Athenian) honey. Webb also notes the suggestion this Claudia and Pudens may be the ones mentioned in the New Testament's 2 Tim 4:21, though there is no connection other than the names.

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Strange, Claudia's married to a friend of mine.
O Hymen, be thou ready with thy pine!
Thus the rare cinnamons with the spicknard joyne,
And the Thesean sweets with Massick wine.
Nor better does the elm and vine embrace,
Nor the lote-tree affect the fenny place.
Nor yet the myrtles more
     Love and desire the shore.
Let a perpetual peace surround their bed,
And may their loves with equal fire be fed!
May she so love him old, that to him shee,
Though old indeed, may not seem so to bee.
[tr. Fletcher (1656)]

Perpetual harmony their bed attend,
And, Venus! still the well-match'd pair befriend!
May she, when Time has sunk him into years,
Love her old man, and cherish his white hairs;
Nor he perceive her charms through age decay,
But think each happy sun his bridal day.
[The Spectator, #506 (10 Oct 1712)]

Their nuptial bed may smiling Concord dress,
And Venus still the happy union bless!
Wrinkled with age, may mutual love and truth
To their dim eyes recall the bloom of youth.
[F. Lewis, The Rambler, #167 (22 Oct 1751)]

To Pudens see the beauteous Claudia vail:
Hail, charming torches! thrice, blest Hymen, hail!
So the rare cinnamon with spikenard blends:
So Massic blood Thesean combs distends.
Not more the elmlings on the vinelets dote;
On shores the myrtle, or on streams the lote.
Fair Concord, o'er their constant couch preside;
The dovelike yoke delighted Venus guide.
Him, spite of years, may she still lovely deem:
May she to him in youth perennial seem.
[tr. Elphinston (1782); Book 8, Part 2, ep. 16]

My friend Pudens marries Claudia Peregrina. O Hymen! be ready with your torches. As fitly is the rare cinnamon blended with nard, as fitly is the Massic wine mixed with Attic honey; nor more fitly are elms united with the tender vines; nor do rills love more the lotus, nor their banks the myrtle. Concord! garbed in white attire, reside always with that nuptial couch ! and may Venus be ever propitious to so suitable a marriage! After a lapse of years may Claudia love, as now, her then aged husband; and may she, even when she is old, not appear old in his eyes!
[tr. Amos (1858), "Connubial Felicity"]

Claudia Peregrina, Rufus, is about to be married to my friend Pudens. Be propitious, Hymen, with your torches. As fitly is precious cinnamon united with nard, and Massic wine with Attic honey. Nor are elms more fitly wedded to tender vines, the lotus more love the waters, or the myrtle the river's bank. May you always hover over their couch, fair Concord, and may Venus ever be auspicious to a couple so well matched. In after years may the wife cherish her husband in his old age; and may she, when grown old, not seem so to her husband.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]

Here, Hymen, here thy blessings shed,
Bright burns thy torches' golden flame:
For Pudens doth with Claudia wed.
The Roman lord and British dame.
How seldom nard its odours sweet
And cinnamon combine so well;
Or Massic wines so fitly meet
With juice of Attic honey-cell!
Not with more grace do soft with brave --
Do tender vines with elms unite;
Nor better lotus loves the wave,
Or myrtles in their banks delight.
Fair on this marriage-couch the while,
A goddess bright, let Concord rest;
And kindly still may Venus smile
On mutual love of pair so blest.
Him may her warm affection cheer,
When youth on time's swift pinions flies;
And so may she, when age is near,
Seem never old to loving eyes.
[tr. Webb (1879)]

My Pudens shall his Claudia wed this day.
Shed, torch of Hymen, shed they brightest ray!
So costly nard and cinnamon combine,
So blends sweet honey with the luscious wine.
So clasps the tender vine her elm, so love
The lotus leaves the stream, myrtles the cove.
Fair Concord, dwell for ever by that bed;
Let Venus bless the pair so meetly wed;
May the wife love with love that grows not cold,
And never to her husband's eye seem old.
[tr. Smith (1893), "On a Friend's Wedding"]

Claudia Peregrina weds, Rufus, with my own Pudens; a blessing, O Hymenaeus, be upon thy torches! So well does rare cinnamon blend with its own nard; so well Massic wine with Attic combs. Not closer are elms linked to tender vines, nor greater love hath the lotos for the waters, the myrtle for the shore. Fair Concord, rest thou unbroken on that bed, and may kind Venus be ever kindly to a bond so equal knit! May the wife love her husband when anon he is grey, and she herself, even when she is old, seem not so to her spouse!
[tr. Ker (1919)]

Pudens to-day his Claudia doth claim
In love united,
A blessing, Hymen, on the twofold flame
Thy torch hath lighted.
These are as honey poured in rarest wine;
Could aught be meeter?
Not cinnamon with spikenard could combine
In fragrance sweeter.
Beside this tender vine her elm doth tower
His might to give her.
She is the myrtle sweet, the lotus flower,
And he her river.
Fair Concord ever o’er their lives preside
Dear Venus bless the bridegroom and the bride
So fitly mated;
And may the coming years so far and dim
No change discover,
But she be loving still and fair to him,
Her grey-haired lover.
[tr. Pott & Wright (1921), "An Epithalamium"]

Claudia's to marry Pudens, so they say.
God's blessing, Rufus, on their wedding day.
So cinnamon and spikenard will combine,
And Attic honey blend with Massic wine.
So with the vine the elm is mantled o'er,
So Lotus loves the wave, Myrtle the shore.
Unbroken union be their portion here
And Venus smile on wedded peer and peer.
May she still love him when her hair is grey,
To him as youthful as she is today.
[tr. Francis & Tatum (1924), #164]

Hail to the wedding of Claudia Peregrina and my good friend Pudens!
Oh, Spirit of Marriage, bless the rite with your blazing torch!
We don't often find the best cinnamon allied with its companion nard,
or fine Massic wine with Athenian honey. Nor can the vines
be better wedded to the elms, the lotus more companionable
to the water, the myrtle to the stream it loves.
And so may clear understanding
and gracious agreement
ever dwell at their nuptial couch.
May she love him when he grows old
and seem in her husband's eyes as she does today
a young bride who never grows old.
[tr. Bovie (1970)]

Rufus, Claudia Peregrina marries my Pudens. A blessing, Hymen, on your torches! Even so happily is cinnamon mingled with its nard, even so happily Massic wines with Theseus' honeycombs. No more apt is the joining of elms with tender vines, nor does the lotus more love the waters or the myrtle the shore. Fair Harmony, dwell always in their bed and let Venus ever favor so well-matched a pair. Let her love him when one day he is old; but for her part, let her not seem old to her husband, even when old she is.
[tr. Shackleton Bailey (1993)]

My dear friend takes a wife, and we must light
The marriage torches that will bless this night
As sweet is joined with spicy, or as wine
Is soothed with honey, or as curling vine
Does climb and hang as close as close can be
Around the of its protective tree,
As waterlily floats in liquid rest,
Or rooted myrtle shines on shore its best --
So be they harmonized in wedded life.
Let Venus bless them both and ease all strife.
When they grow old, let her his ills assuage;
Let him not even recognize her age.
[tr. Wills (2007)]

Now Claudia to my Pudens comes a bride:
blessings on their Hymen torches!
Cinnamon blends well with cinnamon oil,
Massic with Attic honey blends.
Vine is not more closely twined to elm; no
myrtle more loves coast; lotus pool.
May constant Harmony attend their bed,
likewise Venus their like pledge.
Let her still love him old, and him not see
her old age come, though old she be.
[tr. Whigham (1987)]

Added on 26-Aug-22 | Last updated 3-Mar-23
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What is the opposite of two?
A lonely me, a lonely you.

Richard Wilbur
Richard Wilbur (1921-2017) American poet, literary translator
“Some Opposites,” Opposites (1973)
Added on 21-Jul-22 | Last updated 21-Jul-22
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MARRIAGE, n. The state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress, and two slaves, making in all, two.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?) American writer and journalist
The Devil’s Dictionary (1911)
Added on 1-Nov-17 | Last updated 1-Nov-17
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But though that first love’s impassioned blindness
Has passed away in colder light,
I still have thought of you with kindness,
And shall do, till our last goodnight.
The ever-rolling silent hours
Will bring a time we shall not know,
When our young days of gathering flowers
Will be an hundred years ago.

Thomas Love Peacock (1785-1866) English novelist, satirist, poet, merchant
“Love and Age,” From Gryll Grange (1860)
Added on 19-Oct-17 | Last updated 19-Oct-17
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Somehow he has internalized the ur-cultural narrative: you grow up, go to university, get a job, meet Ms. Right, get married, settle down, have kids, grow old together … it’s like some sort of checklist. Or maybe a list of epic quests you’ve got to complete while level-grinding in a game you’re not allowed to quit, with no respawns and no cheat codes.

Charles "Charlie" Stross (b. 1964) British writer
The Nightmare Stacks, ch. 9 (2016)
Added on 29-Aug-17 | Last updated 29-Aug-17
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If a couple could see themselves twenty years later they might not recognize their love, but they would recognize their argument.

James Richardson (b. 1950) American poet
Vectors: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays, # 20 (2001)
Added on 11-Sep-15 | Last updated 14-Sep-21
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A Man without a Wife is but half a Man.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher, aphorist
Poor Richard’s Almanack (Jan 1755)
Added on 3-Feb-14 | Last updated 3-Feb-14
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