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I am trying to translate the lyrics of the Eric Bogle's song The Green Fields of France to Latin. The first two verses are:

Well, how do you do, young William McBride?
Do you mind if I sit here by your graveside?

I'd translate this as:

Ergo, quid agis, o iuvenis William McBride?
Licetne per te mihi sedere apud tuum sepulchrum?

Is there a better way to translate the word "graveside" than "sepulchrum"?

Then it goes:

I'll rest for a while beneath the warm summer sun,
I've been walking all day and I'm nearly done.
I see by your gravestone, you were only nineteen...

I'd translate that as:

Requiescam breviter infra calidum solem aestatis,
ambulabam per totam diem, et paene finio.
Video tuo monumento te habuisse solummodo undeviginti annos...

Is there a better word than "monumentum" for "gravestone"?

2 Answers 2

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The Medieval Stabat Mater has these lines:

Stabat mater dolorosa
iuxta crucem lacrimosa
dum pendebat filius

Which is translated as:

His sorrowful mother was standing
next to the cross, full of tears,
While her son was hanging there.

I'd say graveside is pretty much "right next to the grave [physically]", so with that, I'd recommend iuxta sepulchrum as a good translation of "graveside."

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I agree with cmw that juxta sepulcrum is what you want for "at the graveside".

I also think that monumentum is a fine word for "gravestone". You could use cippus as an alternative if you are looking for something different. I'm not sure it would be better or worse, but it would be different.

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