Nuptial Song

YOUTHS.

Lo! Hesperus is here, ye youths, arise,
His longed-for light now glitters in the skies;
Now is the time to leave the rich-spread feast,
For o'er Olympus shines he in the east,
Now will the virgin come, now raise the song,
Let Hymen's praises sound the fields along.
    Come Hymen, Hymenæus present be,
    When ardent lovers call aloud on thee.

MAIDENS.

Maidens arise, the youths in chorus see,
Arise, o'er Æta glimmers Hesper's fire,
Look how they rush to sound their melody,
Some worthy subject will their strains inspire,
    Come Hymen, Hymenæus present be,
    When ardent lovers call aloud on thee.

YOUTHS.

No easy victory is ours, my friends,
Behold how every maid her power bends
Recalling inwardly her studied strain;
Nor is the labour which they spend in vain,
They have, I doubt not, found some worthy theme
Such as may well their earnest thought beseem,
While we this way and that divide our minds,
So shall we fail, for labour victory finds,
So let your minds with theirs in contest vie,
For they will sing and we must e'en reply.
    Come Hymen, Hymenæus present be,
    When ardent lovers call aloud on thee.

MAIDENS.

Than thee no star more harsh the heavens bear
Who from her mother's arms the maid dost tear
Bright Hesper, and for her feel'st nought of ruth
But giv'st her shrinking to the eager youth,
Than these could happen no more direful woes
In captured city sacked by angry foes.
    Come Hymen, Hymenæus present be,
    When ardent lovers call aloud on thee.

YOUTHS.

Than thee no star more pleasant can be seen
In heaven's vault, who joinest with thy sheen
The wedding bands which parents first have made,
For not before thy fires arise to aid
Can Hymen's knot be tied; what hour more blest
Than that is given by gods to mortal breast?
    Come Hymen, Hymenæus present be,
    When ardent lovers call aloud on thee.

MAIDENS.

Lo! one of our companions now hath left,
Taken by Hesper, ah! the cruel theft;
When Hesper comes, the guardians watchful stand,
For prowling lovers always choose the night
And oft times Hesper sees the spoilers' band
When he returning brings the morning light.
    Come Hymen, Hymenæus present be,
    When ardent lovers call aloud on thee.

YOUTHS.

The maids profess that they the star revile,
What if they really long for him the while?
    Come Hymen, Hymenæus present be,
    When ardent lovers call aloud on thee.

MAIDENS.

As in a garden hid a flow'ret grows
Which no plough strikes, on which no cattle browse,
But strengthened by the sun's most genial care
And daily freshened by the gentle air,
And nurtured by the tender showers which fall,
Is sought by youths, longed for by maidens all,
So while the virgin yet untouched remains
Dear is she held in all domestic ties,
But when her blighted flower her body stains
For her no youth is fired, or maiden sighs.
    Come Hymen, Hymenæus present be,
    When ardent lovers call aloud on thee.

YOUTHS.

As in a bare field an unwedded vine
Ne'er lifts her head, or yields the mellow fruit,
But her frail body doth her weight decline
Till e'en the topmost twig can touch the root.
For her no rustics toil, or herdsmen care;
But if to her be joined in wedlock fair
Some husband elm to hold her lest she fall,
Cherished she stands by hinds and herdsmen all.
Thus if the maiden still untouched remains
Then she a sad old age uncared for gains.
But if she wedded be in season due
Then her with more love will her husband view,
ANd less the maid will to her mother be
Object of scorn and hateful jealousy:
Then do not thou 'gainst such a husband strive
With him thy father's self gives thee to wive,
Thy mother, too, whose words thou must obey,
Nor is it right such bidding to gainsay.
Remember that thou art not all thine own,
Two shares thy parents have, a third alone
Is thine; forbear against their will to fight,
Thy lord succeeds now to thy parent's right.
    Come Hymen, Hymenæus present be,
    When ardent lovers call aloud on thee.

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Monday, July 11, 2011 - 01:39

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Catullus

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