The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus, by Catullus

lxii.

Vesper adest, iuvenes, consurgite: Vesper Olympo

Expectata diu vix tandem lumina tollit.

Surgere iam tempus, iam pingues linquere mensas,

Iam veniet virgo, iam dicetur Hymenaeus.

Hymen o Hymenaee, Hymen ades o Hymenaee! 5

Cernitis, innuptae, iuvenes? consurgite contra:

Nimirum Oetaeos ostendit noctifer ignes.

Sic certest; viden ut perniciter exiluere?

Non temere exiluere, canent quod vincere par est.

Hymen o Hymenaee, Hymen ades o Hymenaee! 10

Non facilis nobis, aequales, palma paratast,

Adspicite, innuptae secum ut meditata requirunt.

Non frustra meditantur, habent memorabile quod sit.

Nec mirum, penitus quae tota mente laborent.

Nos alio mentes, alio divisimus aures: 15

Iure igitur vincemur, amat victoria curam.

Quare nunc animos saltem convertite vestros,

Dicere iam incipient, iam respondere decebit.

Hymen o Hymenaee, Hymen ades o Hymenaee!

Hespere, qui caelo fertur crudelior ignis? 20

Qui natam possis conplexu avellere matris,

Conplexu matris retinentem avellere natam

Et iuveni ardenti castam donare puellam.

Quid faciunt hostes capta crudelius urbe?

Hymen o Hymenaee, Hymen ades o Hymenaee! 25

Hespere, qui caelo lucet iocundior ignis?

Qui desponsa tua firmes conubia flamma,

Quae pepigere viri, pepigerunt ante parentes

Nec iunxere prius quam se tuus extulit ardor.

Quid datur a divis felici optatius hora? 30

Hymen o Hymenaee, Hymen ades o Hymenaee!


Hesperus e nobis, aequales, abstulit unam


Hymen o Hymenaee, Hymen ades o Hymenaee!


Namque tuo adventu vigilat custodia semper.

Nocte latent fures, quos idem saepe revertens,

Hespere, mutato conprendis nomine Eous. 35

At libet innuptis ficto te carpere questu.

Quid tum, si carpunt, tacita quem mente requirunt?

Hymen o Hymenaee, Hymen ades o Hymenaee!

Vt flos in saeptis secretus nascitur hortis,

Ignotus pecori, nullo convolsus aratro, 40

Quem mulcent aurae, firmat sol, educat imber


Multi illum pueri, multae optavere puellae:

Idem cum tenui carptus defloruit ungui,

Nulli illum pueri, nullae optavere puellae:

Sic virgo, dum intacta manet, dum cara suis est; 45

Cum castum amisit polluto corpore florem,

Nec pueris iocunda manet, nec cara puellis.

Hymen o Hymenaee, Hymen ades o Hymenaee!

Vt vidua in nudo vitis quae nascitur arvo

Numquam se extollit, numquam mitem educat uvam, 50

Sed tenerum prono deflectens pondere corpus

Iam iam contingit summum radice flagellum;

Hanc nulli agricolae, nulli coluere bubulci:

At si forte eademst ulmo coniuncta marito,

Multi illam agricolae, multi coluere bubulci: 55

Sic virgo dum intacta manet, dum inculta senescit;

Cum par conubium maturo tempore adeptast,

Cara viro magis et minus est invisa parenti.

Hymen o Hymenaee, Hymen ades o Hymenaee! 58b

At tu ne pugna cum tali coniuge virgo.

Non aequomst pugnare, pater cui tradidit ipse, 60

Ipse pater cum matre, quibus parere necessest.

Virginitas non tota tuast, ex parte parentumst,

Tertia pars patrist, pars est data tertia matri,

Tertia sola tuast: noli pugnare duobus,

Qui genero sua iura simul cum dote dederunt. 65

Hymen o Hymenaee, Hymen ades o Hymenaee!

lxii.

Nuptial Song by Youth and Damsels.

(Epithalamium.)

Youths.

Vesper is here, O youths, rise all; for Vesper Olympus

Scales and in fine enfires what lights so long were expected!

Time ’tis now to arise, now leave we tables rich laden,

Now shall the Virgin come; now chaunt we the Hymenæus.

Hymen O Hymenæus: Hymen here, O Hymenæus! 5

Damsels.

View ye the Youths, O Maids unwed? Then rise to withstand them:

Doubtless the night-fraught Star displays his splendour Oetéän.

Sooth ’tis so; d’ye sight how speedily sprang they to warfare?

Nor for a naught up-sprang: they’ll sing what need we to conquer.

Hymen O Hymenæus: Hymen here, O Hymenæus! 10

Youths.

Nowise easy the palm for us (Companions!) be proffer’d,

Lo! now the maidens muse and meditate matter of forethought

Nor meditate they in vain; they muse a humorous something.

Yet naught wonder it is, their sprites be wholly in labour.

We bear divided thought one way and hearing in other: 15

Vanquish’t by right we must be, since Victory loveth the heedful.

Therefore at least d’ye turn your minds the task to consider,

Soon shall begin their say whose countersay shall befit you.

Hymen O Hymenæus: Hymen here, O Hymenæus!

Damsels.

Hesperus! say what flame more cruel in Heaven be fanned? 20

Thou who the girl perforce canst tear from a mother’s embraces,

Tear from a parent’s clasp her child despite of her clinging

And upon love-hot youth bestowest her chastest of maidenhoods!

What shall the foeman deal more cruel to city becaptured?

Hymen O Hymenæus, Hymen here, O Hymenæus! 25

Youths.

Hesperus! say what flame more gladsome in Heavens be shining?

Thou whose light makes sure long-pledged connubial promise

Plighted erewhile by men and erstwhile plighted by parents.

Yet to be ne’er fulfilled before thy fire’s ardours have risen!

What better boon can the gods bestow than hour so desirèd? 30

Hymen O Hymenæus, Hymen here, O Hymenæus!

Damsels.


Hesperus! one of ourselves (Companions!) carried elsewhither


Hymen O Hymenæus, Hymen here, O Hymenæus!

Youths.


For at thy coming in sight a guard is constantly watching.

Hidden o’nights lurk thieves and these as oft as returnest,

Hesper! thou seizest them with title changed to Eöus. 35

Pleases the bevy unwed with feigned complaints to accuse thee.

What if assail they whom their souls in secrecy cherish?

Hymen O Hymenæus, Hymen here, O Hymenæus!

Damsels.

E’en as a flow’ret born secluded in garden enclosèd,

Unto the flock unknown and ne’er uptorn by the ploughshare, 40

Soothed by the zephyrs and strengthened by suns and nourish’t by showers


Loves her many a youth and longs for her many a maiden:

Yet from her lissome stalk when cropt that flower deflowered,

Loves her never a youth nor longs for her ever a maiden:

Thus while the virgin be whole, such while she’s the dearling of

kinsfolk; 45

Yet no sooner is lost her bloom from body polluted,

Neither to youths she is joy, nor a dearling she to the maidens.

Hymen O Hymenæus, Hymen here, O Hymenæus!

Youths.

E’en as an unmated vine which born in field of the barest

Never upraises head nor breeds the mellowy grape-bunch, 50

But under weight prone-bowed that tender body a-bending

Makes she her root anon to touch her topmost of tendrils;

Tends her never a hind nor tends her ever a herdsman:

Yet if haply conjoinèd the same with elm as a husband,

Tends her many a hind and tends her many a herdsman: 55

Thus is the maid when whole, uncultured waxes she aged;

But whenas union meet she wins her at ripest of seasons,

More to her spouse she is dear and less she’s irk to her parents.

Hymen O Hymenæus, Hymen here, O Hymenæus!

Youths and Damsels.

But do thou cease to resist (O Maid!) such bridegroom opposing,

Right it is not to resist whereto consigned thee a father,

Father and mother of thee unto whom obedience is owing.

Not is that maidenhood all thine own, but partly thy parents!

Owneth thy sire one third, one third is right of thy mother,

Only the third is thine: stint thee to strive with the others,

Who to the stranger son have yielded their dues with a dower! 65

Hymen O Hymenæus: Hymen here, O Hymenæus!

YOUTHS.

Vesper is here, arise ye youths: Vesper at last has just borne aloft in the heavens his long-looked-for light. Now ’tis time to arise, now to leave the fattened tables, now comes the virgin, now is said the Hymenaeus. Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen hither O Hymenaeus!

Maidens.

Discern ye, O unwedded girls, the youths? Arise in response: forsooth the Star of Eve displays its Oetaean fires. Thus ’tis; see how fleetly have they leapt forth? Nor without intent have they leapt forth, they will sing what ’tis meet we surpass. Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen hither O Hymenaeus!

Youths.

Nor easily is for us, O comrades, the palm prepared; see ye how they talk together in deep thought. Nor in vain do they muse, they have what may be worthy of memory. Nor be wonder: for inwardly toil they with whole of their minds. Our minds one way, our ears another, we have divided: wherefore by right are we conquered, for victory loveth solicitude. So now your minds at the least turn ye hither, now their chant they begin, anon ye will have to respond. Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen hither O Hymenaeus!

Maidens.

Hesperus! what crueler light is borne aloft in the heavens? Thou who canst pluck the maid from her mother’s enfolding, pluck from her mother’s enfolding the firm-clinging maid, and canst give the chaste girl to the burning youngster. What more cruel could victors in vanquished city contrive? Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen hither O Hymenaeus!

Youths.

Hesperus! what more jocund light is borne aloft in the heavens? Thou who dost confirm with thy flame the marriage betrothals which the men had pledged, the parents had pledged of aforetime, nor may they be joined in completion before thy flame is borne aloft. What can the gods give more gladsome than that happy hour? Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen hither O Hymenaeus!

Maidens.

Youths.

Maidens.

As grows the hidden flower in garden closed, to kine unknown, uprooted by no ploughshare, whilst the winds caress it, the sun makes it sturdy, and the shower gives it growth * * * * many a boy and many a girl longs for it: this same when pluckt, deflowered from slender stalklet, never a boy and never a girl doth long for it: so the virgin, while she stays untouched, so long is she dear to her folk; when she hath lost her chaste flower from her body profaned, nor to the boys stays she beauteous, nor is she dear to the girls. Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen hither O Hymenaeus!

Youths.

As the widowed vine which grows in naked field ne’er uplifts itself, ne’er ripens a mellow grape, but bending prone ‘neath the weight of its tender body now and again its highmost bough touches with its root; this no husbandmen, no herdsmen will foster: but if this same chance to be joined with marital elm, it many husbandmen, many herdsmen will foster: so the virgin, whilst she stays untouched, so long does she age, unfostered; but when fitting union she obtain in meet time, dearer is she to her lord and less of a trouble to parent. Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen hither O Hymenaeus!

Youths and Maidens.

But struggle not ‘gainst such a mate, O virgin. ’Tis improper to struggle, thou whose father hath handed thee o’er, that father together with thy mother to whom obedience is needed. Thy maidenhead is not wholly thine, in part ’tis thy parents’: a third part is thy father’s, a third part is given to thy mother, a third alone is thine: be unwilling to struggle against two, who to their son-inlaw their rights together with dowry have given. Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen hither O Hymenaeus!

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/c/catullus/carmina/poem62.html

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