To Antinous and Hadrian
Lover and beloved, erastes and eromenos,
emperor and favorite, Hadrian and Antinous:
For eighteen hundred years your names have been named
together. Antinous, enthroned with the gods of Egypt,
divine by the gift of the Nile; Hadrian, called divus
by the Roman Senate, divine by right of the numen Augusti.
Hail to you, Hadrian and Antinous, Antinous and Hadrian,
friends and lovers! In equal love you have traded places
again and again. Hadrian raised you, Antinous,
to imperial favor, but Osiris lifted you to godhood;
you, Hadrian, pontifex maximus, led the way
in the new god’s cult. Now Hadrian is in the court
of Antinous as Antinous once was in his, and never
shall the two be named apart: Hadrian and Antinous,
Antinous and Hadrian, hail to you, avete!