Frater Ave Atque Vale

Alfred Lord Tennyson

Row us out from Desenzano, to your Sirmione row!
So they row'd, and there we landed-"O venusta Sirmio"
There to me through all the groves of olive in the summer glow,
There beneath the Roman ruin where the purple flowers grow,
Came that 'Ave atque Vale' of the Poet's hopeless woe,
Tenderest of Roman poets nineteen-hundred years ago,
'Frater Ave atque Vale' - as we wandered to and fro
Gazing at the Lydian laughter of the Garda Lake below
Sweet Catullus's all-but-island, olive-silvery Sirmio!

Poets through the ages have written poems about Sirmio.

The beautiful peninsula in Lake Garda has captivated Catullus and James Elroy Flecker amongst others.

The stirring words "Ave Frater Atque Vale" mean "Hail brother, and farewell!" They come from a poem by Catullus addressed to his dead brother.