The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus, by Catullus

lxi.

Collis o Heliconii

Cultor, Vraniae genus,

Qui rapis teneram ad virum

Virginem, o Hymenaee Hymen,

O Hymen Hymenaee, 5

Cinge tempora floribus

Suave olentis amaraci,

Flammeum cape, laetus huc

Huc veni niveo gerens

Luteum pede soccum, 10

Excitusque hilari die

Nuptialia concinens

Voce carmina tinnula

Pelle humum pedibus, manu

Pineam quate taedam. 15

Namque Vinia Manlio,

Qualis Idalium colens

Venit ad Phrygium Venus

Iudicem, bona cum bona

Nubet alite virgo, 20

Floridis velut enitens

Myrtus Asia ramulis,

Quos Hamadryades deae

Ludicrum sibi rosido

Nutriunt umore. 25

Quare age huc aditum ferens

Perge linquere Thespiae

Rupis Aonios specus,

Nympha quos super inrigat

Frigerans Aganippe, 30

Ac domum dominam voca

Coniugis cupidam novi,

Mentem amore revinciens,

Vt tenax hedera huc et huc

Arborem inplicat errans. 35

Vosque item simul, integrae

Virgines, quibus advenit

Par dies, agite in modum

Dicite ‘o Hymenaee Hymen,

O Hymen Hymenaee,’ 40

Vt lubentius, audiens

Se citarier ad suom

Munus, huc aditum ferat

Dux bonae Veneris, boni

Coniugator amoris. 45

Quis deus magis anxiis

Est petendus amantibus?

Quem colent homines magis

Caelitum? o Hymenaee Hymen,

O Hymen Hymenaee. 50

Te suis tremulus parens

Invocat, tibi virgines

Zonula soluunt sinus,

Te timens cupida novos

Captat aure maritus. 55

Tu fero iuveni in manus

Floridam ipse puellulam

Dedis a gremio suae

Matris, o Hymenaee Hymen,

O Hymen Hymenaee. 60

Nil potest sine te Venus,

Fama quod bona conprobet,

Commodi capere: at potest

Te volente. quis huic deo

Conpararier ausit? 65

Nulla quit sine te domus

Liberos dare, nec parens

Stirpe cingier: at potest

Te volente. quis huic deo

Conpararier ausit? 70

Quae tuis careat sacris,

Non queat dare praesides

Terra finibus: at queat

Te volente. quis huic deo

Conpararier ausit? 75

Claustra pandite ianuae,

Virgo ades. viden ut faces

Splendidas quatiunt comas?

Tardet ingenuos pudor:





Quem tamen magis audiens 80

Flet, quod ire necesse est. 81

Flere desine. non tibi, A— (86)

runculeia, periculumst,

Nequa femina pulchrior

Clarum ab Oceano diem 85

Viderit venientem. (90)

Talis in vario solet

Divitis domini hortulo

Stare flos hyacinthinus.

Sed moraris, abit dies: 90

Prodeas, nova nupta.

Prodeas, nova nupta, si

Iam videtur, et audias

Nostra verba. vide ut faces

Aureas quatiunt comas: 95

Prodeas, nova nupta.

Non tuos levis in mala

Deditus vir adultera

Probra turpia persequens

A tuis teneris volet 100

Secubare papillis,

Lenta quin velut adsitas

Vitis inplicat arbores,

Inplicabitur in tuom

Conplexum. sed abit dies: 105

Prodeas, nova nupta.

O cubile, quod omnibus



* * * * 110

Candido pede lecti,

Quae tuo veniunt ero,

Quanta gaudia, quae vaga

Nocte, quae medio die

Gaudeat! sed abit dies: 115

Prodeas, nova nupta.

Tollite, o pueri, faces:

Flammeum video venire.

Ite, concinite in modum

‘O Hymen Hymenaee io, 120

O Hymen Hymenaee.’

Ne diu taceat procax

Fescennina iocatio,

Nec nuces pueris neget

Desertum domini audiens 125

Concubinus amorem.

Da nuces pueris, iners

Concubine: satis diu

Lusisti nucibus: lubet

Iam servire Talasio. 130

Concubine, nuces da.

Sordebant tibi vilicae,

Concubine, hodie atque heri:

Nunc tuom cinerarius

Tondet os. miser a miser 135

Concubine, nuces da.

Diceris male te a tuis

Vnguentate glabris marite

Abstinere: sed abstine.

O Hymen Hymenaee io, 140

O Hymen Hymenaee.

Scimus haec tibi quae licent

Sola cognita: sed marito

Ista non eadem licent.

O Hymen Hymenaee io, 145

O Hymen Hymenaee.

Nupta, tu quoque, quae tuos

Vir petet, cave ne neges,

Ni petitum aliunde eat.

O Hymen Hymenaee io, 150

O Hymen Hymenaee.

En tibi domus ut potens

Et beata viri tui,

Quae tibi sine fine erit

(O Hymen Hymenaee io, 155

O Hymen Hymenaee),

Vsque dum tremulum movens

Cana tempus anilitas

Omnia omnibus adnuit.

O Hymen Hymenaee io, 160

O Hymen Hymenaee.

Transfer omine cum bono

Limen aureolos pedes,

Rasilemque subi forem.

O Hymen Hymenaee io, 165

O Hymen Hymenaee.

Aspice, intus ut accubans

Vir tuos Tyrio in toro

Totus inmineat tibi.

O Hymen Hymenaee io, 170

O Hymen Hymenaee.

Illi non minus ac tibi

Pectore uritur intimo

Flamma, sed penite magis.

O Hymen Hymenaee io, 175

O Hymen Hymenaee.

Mitte brachiolum teres,

Praetextate, puellulae:

Iam cubile adeat viri.

O Hymen Hymenaee io, 180

O Hymen Hymenaee.

Vos bonae senibus viris

Cognitae bene feminae,

Collocate puellulam.

O Hymen Hymenaee io, 185

O Hymen Hymenaee.

Iam licet venias, marite:

Vxor in thalamo tibist

Ore floridulo nitens,

Alba parthenice velut 190

Luteumve papaver.

At, marite, (ita me iuvent

Caelites) nihilo minus

Pulcher es, neque te Venus

Neglegit. sed abit dies: 195

Perge, ne remorare.

Non diu remoratus es,

Iam venis. bona te Venus

Iuverit, quoniam palam

Quod cupis capis et bonum 200

Non abscondis amorem.

Ille pulveris Africei

Siderumque micantium

Subducat numerum prius,

Qui vostri numerare volt 205

Multa milia ludei.

Ludite ut lubet, et brevi

Liberos date. non decet

Tam vetus sine liberis

Nomen esse, sed indidem 210

Semper ingenerari.

Torquatus volo parvolus

Matris e gremio suae

Porrigens teneras manus

Dulce rideat ad patrem 215

Semhiante labello.

Sit suo similis patri

Manlio et facile inscieis

Noscitetur ab omnibus

Et pudicitiam suae 220

Matris indicet ore.

Talis illius a bona

Matre laus genus adprobet,

Qualis unica ab optima

Matre Telemacho manet 225

Fama Penelopeo.

Claudite ostia, virgines:

Lusimus satis. at, bonei

Coniuges, bene vivite et

Munere adsiduo valentem 230

Exercete inventam.

lxi.

Epithalamium on Vinia and Manlius.

1.

Of Helicon-hill, O Thou that be

Haunter, Urania’s progeny,

Who hurriest soft virginity

To man, O Hymenæus Hymen,

O Hymen Hymenæus. 5

2.

About thy temples bind the bloom,

Of Marjoram flow’ret scented sweet;

Take flamey veil: glad hither come

Come hither borne by snow-hue’d feet

Wearing the saffron’d sock. 10

3.

And, roused by day of joyful cheer,

Carolling nuptial lays and chaunts

With voice as silver-ringing clear,

Beat ground with feet, while brandisht flaunts

Thy hand the piney torch. 15

4.

For Vinia comes by Manlius woo’d,

As Venus on th’ Idalian crest,

Before the Phrygian judge she stood

And now with blessèd omens blest,

The maid is here to wed. 20

5.

A maiden shining bright of blee,

As Myrtle branchlet Asia bred,

Which Hamadryad deity

As toy for joyance aye befed

With humour of the dew. 25

6.

Then hither come thou, hieing lief,

Awhile to leave th’ Aonian cave,

Where ‘neath the rocky Thespian cliff

Nymph Aganippe loves to lave

In cooly waves outpoured. 30

7.

And call the house-bride, homewards bring

Maid yearning for new married fere,

Her mind with fondness manacling,

As the tough ivy here and there

Errant the tree enwinds. 35

8.

And likewise ye, clean virginal

Maidens, to whom shall haps befall

Like day, in measure join ye all

Singing, O Hymenæus Hymen,

O Hymen Hymenæus. 40

9.

That with more will-full will a-hearing

The call to office due, he would

Turn footsteps hither, here appearing,

Guide to good Venus, and the good

Lover conjoining strait. 45

10.

What God than other Godheads more

Must love-sick wights for aid implore?

Whose Godhead foremost shall adore

Mankind? O Hymenæus Hymen,

O Hymen Hymenæus. 50

11.

Thee for his own the trembling sire

Invokes, thee Virgins ever sue

Who laps of zone to loose aspire,

And thee the bashful bridegrooms woo

With ears that long to hear. 55

12.

Thou to the hand of love-fierce swain

Deliverest maiden fair and fain,

From mother’s fondling bosom ta’en

Perforce, O Hymenæus Hymen

O Hymen Hymenæus. 60

13.

Thou lacking, Venus ne’er avails —

While Fame approves for honesty —

Love-joys to lavish: ne’er she fails

Thou willing:— with such Deity

Whoe’er shall dare compare? 65

14.

Thou wanting, never son and heir

The Hearth can bear, nor parents be

By issue girt, yet can it bear,

Thou willing:— with such Deity,

Whoe’er shall dare compare? 70

15.

An lack a land thy sacring rite,

The perfect rule we ne’er shall see

Reach Earth’s far bourne; yet such we sight,

Thou willing:— with such Deity

Whoe’er shall dare compare? 75

16.

Your folds ye gateways wide-ope swing!

The maiden comes. Seest not the sheen

Of links their splendent tresses fling?

Let shame retard the modest mien.


17.




Who more she hears us weeps the more, 80

That needs she must advance. 81

18.

Cease raining tear-drops! not for thee, (86)

Aurunculeia, risk we deem,

That fairer femininety

Clear day outdawned from Ocean stream 85

Shall ever more behold. (90)

19.

Such in the many-tinted bower

Of rich man’s garden passing gay

Upstands the hyacinthine flower.

But thou delayest, wanes the day: 90

Prithee, come forth new Bride.

20.

Prithee, come forth new Bride! methinks,

Drawing in sight, the talk we hold

Thou haply hearest. See the Links!

How shake their locks begilt with gold: 95

Prithee, new Bride come forth.

21.

Not lightly given thy mate to ill

Joys and adulterous delights

Foul fleshly pleasures seeking still

Shall ever choose he lie o’ nights 100

Far from thy tender paps.

22.

But as with pliant shoots the vine

Round nearest tree-trunk winds her way,

He shall be ever twined in thine

Embraces:— yet, lo! wanes the day: 105

Prithee, come forth new Bride!

23.

Couchlet which to me and all



* * * * 110

With bright white bedstead foot.

24.

What joys the lord of thee betide!

What love-liesse on vaguing way

O’ nights! What sweets in morning tide

For thee be stored! Yet wanes the day: 115

Prithee, come forth fresh Bride!

25.

Your lighted links, O boys, wave high:

I see the flamey veil draw nigh:

Hie, sing in merry mode and cry

“O Hymen Hymenæus io, 120

O Hymen Hymenæus!”

26.

Lest longer mute tongue stays that joys

In festal jest, from Fescennine,

Nor yet denay their nuts to boys,

He–Concubine! who learns in fine 125

His lordling’s love is fled.

27.

Throw nuts to boys thou idle all

He–Concubine! wast fain full long

With nuts to play: now pleased as thrall

Be thou to swell Talasios’ throng: 130

He–Concubine throw nuts.

28.

Wont thou at peasant-girls to jape

He-whore! Thy Lord’s delight the while:

Now shall hair-curling chattel scrape

Thy cheeks: poor wretch, ah! poor and vile:— 135

He–Concubine, throw nuts.

29.

’Tis said from smooth-faced ingle train

(Anointed bridegroom!) hardly fain

Hast e’er refrained; now do refrain!

O Hymen Hymenæus io, 140

O Hymen Hymenæus!

30.

We know that naught save licit rites

Be known to thee, but wedded wights

No more deem lawful such delights.

O Hymen Hymenæus io, 145

O Hymen Hymenæus.

31.

Thou too, O Bride, whatever dare

Thy groom, of coy rebuff beware,

Lest he to find elsewhither fare.

O Hymen Hymenæus io, 150

O Hymen Hymenæus.

32.

Lo! here the house of high degree

Thy husband’s puissant home to be,

Which ever shall obey thy gree.

O Hymen Hymenæus io, 155

O Hymen Hymenæus!

33.

Till Time betide when eld the hoar

Thy head and temples trembling o’er

Make nod to all things evermore.

O Hymen Hymenæus io, 160

O Hymen Hymenæus.

34.

O’erstep with omen meetest meet

The threshold-stone thy golden feet

Up, past the polisht panels fleet.

O Hymen Hymenæus io, 165

O Hymen Hymenæus.

35.

Within bestrewn thy bridegroom see

On couch of Tyrian cramoisy

All imminent awaiting thee.

O Hymen Hymenæus io, 170

O Hymen Hymenæus.

36.

For in his breast not less than thine

Burn high the flames that deepest shrine,

Yet his the lowe far deeper lien.

O Hymen Hymenæus io, 175

O Hymen Hymenæus.

37.

Let fall the maid’s soft arms, thou fair

Boy purple-hem’d: now be thy care

Her bridegroom’s couch she seek and share.

O Hymen Hymenæus io, 180

O Hymen Hymenæus.

38.

Ye wives time-tried to husbands wed,

Well-known for chastity inbred,

Dispose the virginette a-bed.

O Hymen Hymenæus io, 185

O Hymen Hymenæus.

39.

Groom, now ’tis meet thou hither pace,

With bride in genial bed to blend,

For sheenly shines her flowery face

Where the white chamomiles contend 190

With poppies blushing red.

40.

Yet bridegroom (So may Godhead deign

Help me!) nowise in humbler way

Art fair, nor Venus shall disdain

Thy charms, but look! how wanes the day: 195

Forward, nor loiter more!

41.

No longer loitering makest thou,

Now comest thou. May Venus good

Aid thee when frankly takest thou

Thy wishes won, nor true Love woo’d 200

Thou carest to conceal.

42.

Of Afric’s wolds and wilds each grain,

Or constellations glistening,

First reckon he that of the twain

To count alone were fain to bring 205

The many thousand joys.

43.

Play as ye please: soon prove ye deft

At babying babes — ’twere ill design’d

A name thus ancient should be left

Heirless, but issue like of kind 210

Engendered aye should be.

44.

A wee Torquátus fain I’d see

Encradled on his mother’s breast

Put forth his tender puds while he

Smiles to his sire with sweetest gest 215

And liplets half apart.

45.

Let son like father’s semblance show

(Manlius!) so with easy guess

All know him where his sire they know,

And still his face and form express 220

His mother’s honest love.

46.

Approve shall fair approof his birth

From mother’s seed-stock generous,

As rarest fame of mother’s worth

Unique exalts Telemachus 225

Penelope’s own son.

47.

Fast close the door-leaves, virgin band:

Enow we’ve played. But ye the fair

New-wedded twain live happy, and

Functions of lusty married pair 230

Exercise sans surcease.

O Fosterer of the Helicon Hill, sprung from Urania, who beareth the gentle virgin to her mate, O Hymenaeus Hymen, O Hymen Hymenaeus!

Twine round thy temples sweet-smelling flowerets of marjoram; put on thy gold-tinted veil; light-hearted, hither, hither haste, bearing on snowy foot the golden-yellow sandal:

And a-fire with the joyous day, chanting wedding melodies with ringing voice, strike the ground with thy feet, with thine hand swing aloft the pine-link.

For Vinia — fair as Idalian Venus, when stood before the Phrygian judge — a virgin fair, weds Manlius ‘midst happy auspices.

She, bright-shining as the Asian myrtle florid in branchlets, which the Hamadryads nurture for their pleasure with besprinkled dew.

Wherefore, hither! leaving the Aonian grot in the Thespian Rock, o’er which flows the chilling stream of Aganippe.

And summon homewards the mistress, eager for her new yoke, firm-prisoning her soul in love; as tight-clasping ivy, wandering hither, thither, enwraps the tree around.

And also ye, upright virgins, for whom a like day is nearing, chant ye in cadence, singing “O Hymenaeus Hymen, O Hymen Hymenaeus!”

That more freely, hearing himself to his duty called, will he bear hither his presence, Lord of true Venus, uniter of true lovers.

What god is worthier of solicitation by anxious amourists? Whom of the celestials do men worship more greatly? O Hymenaeus Hymen, O Hymen Hymenaeus!

Thee for his young the trembling father beseeches, for thee virgins unclasp the zone from their breasts, for thee the fear-full bridegroom harkeneth with eager ear.

Thou bearest to the youngster’s arms that flower-like damsel, taken from her mother’s bosom, O Hymenaeus Hymen, O Hymen Hymenaeus!

Nor lacking thee may Venus take her will with fair Fame’s approbation; but she may, with thy sanction. With such a God who dares compare?

Lacking thee, no house can yield heirs, nor parent be surrounded by offspring; but they may, with thy sanction. With such a God who dares compare?

Nor lacking thy rites may our land be protected e’en to its boundaries; but it may, with thy sanction. With such a God who dares compare?

Gates open wide: the virgin is here. See how the torch-flakes shake their gleaming locks? Let shame retard the modest:


Yet hearing, greater does she weep, that she must onwards go.

Cease thy tears. For thee there is no peril, Aurunculeia, that any woman more beauteous from Ocean springing shall ever see the light of day.

Thou art like the hyacinthine flower, wont to stand aloft ‘midst varied riches of its lordling’s garden. But thou delayest, day slips by: advance, new mated one.

Advance, new mated, now in sight, and listen to our speech. Note how the torch-flakes shake their glittering tresses: advance, new mated one.

Nor given to ill adulteries, nor seeking lawless shames, shall thy husband ever wish to lie away from thy soft breasts,

But as the lithe vine amongst neighbouring trees doth cling, so shall he be enclasped in thine encircled arms. But day slips by: advance, new mated one.

O nuptial couch * * * * with feet of ivory white.

What joys are coming to thy lord, in gloom o’ night, in noon of day. Let him rejoice! but day slips by: advance, new mated one.

High raise, O boys, the torches: I see the gleaming veil approach. Come, chant in cadence, “O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus.”

Nor longer silent is lewd Fescinnine jest, nor to the boys the nuts deny, ingle, hearing thy master’s love has flown.

Give nuts to the boys, O listless ingle; enough of days thou hast played with nuts: now ’tis meet to serve Talassius. O ingle, give the nuts!

The country lasses slighted were by thee, O ingle, till today: now the bride’s tiresman shaves thy face. Wretched, wretched ingle, give the nuts.

They say that from thy hairless ingles, O sweet-scented bridegroom, thou canst scarce abstain: but abstain thou! O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus.

We know that these delights were known to thee only when lawful: but to the wedded these same no more are lawful. O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus!

Thou also, bride, what thy husband seekest beware of denying, lest he go elsewhere in its search. O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus!

Look, thy husband’s home is thine, potent and goodly, and shall be thine for ever more. O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus!

Until with trembling movement thine hoary brow nods ever to everything. O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus!

Lift o’er the threshold with good omen thy glistening feet, and go through the polished gates. O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus!

Look! thy lord within, lying on Tyrian couch, all-expectant waits for thee. O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus!

Not less than in thine, in his breast burns an inmost flame, but more deeply inward. O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus!

Unloose the damsel’s slender arm, O purple-bordered youth: now let her approach her husband’s couch. O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus.

Ye good dames of fair renown to aged spouses, put ye the damsel a-bed. O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus.

Now thou mayst come, O bridegroom: thy wife is in the bridal-bed, with face brightly blushing as white parthenice ‘midst ruddy poppies.

But, O bridegroom (so help me the heaven-dwellers) in no way less beautiful art thou, nor doth Venus slight thee. But the day slips by: on! nor more delay.

Nor long hast thou delayed, thou comest now. May kindly Venus help thee, since what thou dost desire thou takest publicly, and dost not conceal true love.

Of Afric’s sands and glittering stars the number first let him tell, who wishes to keep count of your many-thousand sports.

Sport as ye like, and speedily give heirs. It does not become so old a name to be sans heirs, but for similar stock always to be generated.

A little Torquatus I wish, from his mother’s bosom reaching out his dainty hands, and smiling sweetly at his father with lips apart.

May he be like his sire Manlius, and easily acknowledged by every stranger, and by his face point out his mother’s faithfulness.

May such praise confirm his birth from true mother, such fame unique as rests with Telemachus from best of mothers, Penelope.

Close ye the doors, virgins: enough we’ve sported. But, fair bride and groom, live ye well, and diligently fulfil the office of vigorous youth.

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Last updated Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 20:37