[1-35] Invocation to Hymen. The poet speaks as if standing before the bride's home, awaiting her coming forth for the procession to the house of the bridegroom.
 rapis: cf. the same traditional sentiment in Catul. 62.20ff. And though perhaps not directly referred to here, the prehistoric marriage by capture is traceable in the Roman custom of taking the bride from her mother's arms with a show of force, and of carrying her over the threshold of her new home (cf. vv. 166-167).
 Hymen: the Greek god of marriage addressed under the double name Ἡψμὴν Ὑμέναιε (or in reverse order); cf. Eur. Tro. 311; Aristoph. Peace 1335; Theocr. 18.58; Pl. Cas. 752 “io Hymen Hymenaee” ; Ov. Her. 14.27 “Hymen Hymenaee” ; and also Catul. 62.5, etc.
[6-10] The attributes of Hymen are those of marriage; here, the wreath, veil, and slippers of the bride; in v. 15, the torch.
 flammeum: the long mantle (= palla?) drawn up to serve as a head-covering; in the case of brides and of the wife of the flamen it was of a brownish-yellow color (luteum); cf. Luc. Phar. 2.361 “lutea demissos velarunt flammea vultus.”
 soccum: unlaced slippers, used commonly for house-wear, and so especially by women. In the apparel of the bride in the Aldobrandini marriage scene they are yellow in color.
 pineam quate taedam: on torches in the marriage procession cf. Verg. A. 7.397 “ipsa flagrantem fervida pinum sustinet ac canit hymenaeos” ; Verg. Ciris 439 “pronuba nec castos accendet pinus honores” ; Ov. Fast. 2.561 “conde tuas, Hymenaee, facis” .
 Vinia Manlio: the bride is called Aurunculeia in v. 86, a fact which Scaliger rightly explained as due to an adoption, Vinia being the present legal name corresponding to the formal nomen gentile of the bridegroom, in immediate connection with which it stands, while Aurunculeia was the name before adoption. Both names are common enough, hut the personality of the bride can be no further determined. On Manlius Torquatus (cf. vv. 216 and 222) see Intr. 67.
 qualis: the comparison extends only to the all-conquering beauty of the bride.
 Phrygium iudicem: i.e. Paris, whose decision in giving the golden apple as the prize of beauty to Aphrodite rather than to Hera or Pallas brought in its train all the woes of the Trojan War; cf. Hom. Il. 24.28ff.; Hor. Carm. 3.3.18 “Ilion, Ilion fatalis incestusque index et mulier peregrina vertit in pulverem.”
Verg. G. 1.383 “volucres quae Asia circum dulcibus in stagnis rimantur prata Caystri” . The myrtle bore white blossoms (Aristoph. Birds. 1099“ ἠρινά τε βοσκόμεθα παρθένια
”, and was sacred to Venus ( Phaedr. 3.17.3 “myrtus Veneri placuit” ); similarly Ariadne is compared to a myrtle-branch in Catul. 64.89, and Vinia herself in v. 91ff. to the hyacinth, and in v. 193ff. to the white parthenice and the flame-red poppy.
 Aonios specus: Aonia was the name of the district about Helicon, whence the Muses were called Aonides (Ov. Met. 5.333; Juv. 7.59). On caves as quiet retreats of the Muses cf. Hor. Carm. 3.4.40; Juv. l.c.
 hedera: etc. cf. the similar familiar figure in v. 106ff.
[36-45] Exhortation of the choragus to the waiting maidens to join in singing the praises of Hymen.
 advenit: is close at hand, while the future would mean ‘will sometime come.’
 dux: as the presiding deity of marriage.
[46-75] The choragus leads the maidens in singing the praises of Hymen.
 timens: contrasted with the following word, cupida; the bridegroom's eagerness is so great as to be somewhat allied to fear, almost like that of the traditional bride; so he trembles even while he listens anxiously to catch the music of the bridal procession.
 liberos: by the formula that embodied the strict Roman reverence for the family, a wife was taken liberorum quaerendorum gratia, and Gaius remarks (Gaius 1.64), “si quis nefarias atque incestas nuptias contraxerit, neque uxorem habere videtur, neque liberos” .
 careat: the change with this stanza from direct to hypothetical statement corresponds to the absence of probability that an entire land would be without marriage-rites.
[76-120] The hymn to Hymen finished, the bride is now urged to come forth and take her place in the procession to the bridegroom's house, and to dry her tears (v. 85) by thoughts of her own conquering beauty (vv. 86-100), which the poet skilfully extols by prophesying her entire and lasting influence over her husband (vv. 101ff.).
 viden ut: etc. addressed to the bride, who may look out through the now opened doors and see the procession ready to escort her on her way to her new home. The phrase is used in Catullus, as regularly in early Latin, in the sense of quo modo, without affecting the mood of the verb (cf. v. 98; Catul. 62.8), the ut being more exclamatory than interrogative. In 62.8 it is addressed to more than one person. In later writers the subjunctive becomes the rule; cf. also v. 171ff. aspice ut immineat.
[79-82] The two concluding verses of the first defective stanza doubtless contained an exhortation to the bride to come forth, vv. 79-80 perhaps being ne moreris, abit dies: prodeas nova nupta (cf. v. 94 and the urgent repetitions in vv. 95, 96, 100, 110, I20), while vv. 81-82 referred to her evident reluctance, for which vv. 83-85 assign the reason.
 ingenuus pudor: i.e. the natural modesty of a maiden gently-bred; cf. Plin. NH Praef. 21 “est plenum ingenui pudoris fateri per quos profeceris” ; Prop. 1.4.13 “ingenuus calor et multis decus artibus” ; Plin. Ep. 1.14.8 “ingenua totius corporis pulchritudo et quidam senatorius decor.”
 diem: i.e. the morrow's day.
 quin: nay rather.
 velut: etc. with the comparison cf. Hor. Carm. 1.36.20 “lascivis hederis ambitiosior” ; Hor. Epod. 15.5 “artius atque hedera procera adstringitur ilex, lentis adhaerens bracchiis” ; Gall. Epithal. 3 (Anth. Lat. 232 Mey.) “bracchia nec hederae vincant” .
 implicabitur: as of the middle voice.
[112-114] These verses perhaps stood in the archetype at the bottom or top of a page, with vv. 79f. standing in a corresponding position on the other side of the leaf, and were lost by the same mutilation that destroyed vv. 79-82.
 candido pede lecti: the feet of the bed were frequently of ivory; cf. Catul. 64.45, Catul. 64.48; Hor. S. 2.6.103 “tincta super lectos canderet vestis eburnos” ; Plat. Com. “κλίνη ἐλεφαντόπους” .
[121-125] The bride yields to the persuasion and comes forth, and the procession begins to move.
 flammeum: the bright-tinted mantle catches the eye first as the bride comes forth.
“ the boys run up and down the street,
Crying aloud with strong confused noise,
As if it were one voice, Hymen! io Hymen! Hymen! they do shout.
[126-155] The versus Fescennini, sung on the way to the bridegroom's house, which are addressed successively to the (perhaps imaginary) former slave-favorite of the bridegroom, to the bridegroom himself, and to the bride. Antiquarian accuracy is not observed, for the bridegroom (according to v. 171ff.) is with his friends awaiting at his own home the arrival of the bride, and therefore not present to hear the verses addressed to him; while in place of the bridegroom (v. 128 n.) the concubinus is present and scatters the nuts.
 Fescennina iocatio: cf. Paul. Fest. 85 “Fescennini versus, qui canebantur in nuptiis, ex urbe Fescennina dicuntur allati, sive ideo dicti quia fascinum putabantur arcere” (cf. Catul. 5.12n.); Hor. Ep. 2.1.145 “Fescennina licentia versibus alternis opprobria rustica fudit” ; Sen. Rh. p. 223 B. inter nuptiales Fescenninos in crucem generi nostri iocabantur. Similar licentious catches directed against the general were sung by his soldiers in the triumphal procession (cf. Suet. Iul. 49 and Suet. Iul. 51).
 nuces pueris: as a part of the marriage ceremonies the bride-groom scattered nuts among the crowd of bystanders; cf. Verg. Ecl. 8.29 “tibi ducitur uxor; sparge, marite, nuces,” and the comments thereupon by Servius, who gives several explanations of the custom.
 desertum: etc. i.e. perceiving that his love for his master is now slighted.
 sordebant: etc. i.e. at your master's country seat even the wives of the bailiffs, so much above common slaves like yourself, were but mean in your eyes.
 The verses are now directed to the bridegroom.
 unguentate: as frequently, with an idea of excessive and effeminate luxury.
 licent: etc. the sentiment intimated concerning the license allowed by society to an unmarried man is true to ancient life.
 The chorus now turns to the bride with equally, though less brutally, plain words.
[156-235] The procession reaches the bridegroom's house (-165), the bride is assisted over the threshold without stumbling (-170), and finds the bridegroom awaiting her (-180). She is then duly conducted to the lectus genialis (-190), the bride-groom allowed to enter the apartment (-205), and outside the door the chorus sings its congratulations and prophecies of present and future happiness (-235). Many small details of the usual marriage ceremonies are untouched by the poet.
 tempus: for caput, as in Prop. 4.9.15 “iacuit pulsus tria tempora ramo Cacus” . The singular rarely occurs in the sense of ‘one of the temples’ except when so modified as to distinguish between them; but cf. Auct. ad Herenn. 4.55 “dubitanti Graccho percutit tempus” .
 transfer: apparently addressed to the bride, who here steps over (not upon) the threshold, instead of being lifted across it; cf.
 omine cum bono: the custom of lifting the bride across the threshold is doubtless traceable to the original marriage by capture, as certain even of the ancients suggested, but its origin had been almost lost sight of, and the Romans explained it generally as due to fear that the bride might stumble, and so offend Vesta, to whom the threshold was sacred (Varro ap. Serv. on Verg. Ecl. 8.29), or begin her new life under an evil omen (Plaut. Cas. l.c.; Ov. Met. 10.452 “ter pedis offensi signo est revocata” ).
 aureolos: perhaps only of the color of the shoes (cf. v. 10 luteum soccum with Catul. 2.12 “aureolum malum” ); but cf. ἀργυρόπεζα of Thetis (Hom.) and Aphrodite (Pind.), χρυσοπέδιλος of Hera (Hom.), χρυσέη Ἀφροδίτη (Hom.), etc.
 adspice: the bride now stands within the dwelling at the entrance to the atrium, where the bridegroom has been celebrating with his friends the cena nuptialis; cf. Pl. Curc. 728 “tu, miles, apud me cenabis; hodie fient nuptiae” ; Cic. Quint. Fr. 2.3.7 “eo die apud Pomponium in eius nuptiis eram cenaturus.”
 unus: the bridegroom is the one object upon which her eyes rest, while he in turn has eyes for her alone (v. 173).
 totus, with his whole being; cf. Catul. 64.93.
 penite: secretly; he shows no sign of his passion to curious eyes; cf. Tib. 4.5.17 “optat idem iuvenis quod nos, sed tectius optat” , but for the contrary view Ov. AA 1.276 “vir male dissimulat; tectius illa cupit” . The adverb is ἅπαξ λεγόμενον from the adjective penitus of Plautus and late Latin.
 praetextate: the poet speaks unprecisely of but one boy leading the bride to the door of the thalamus, and giving her into the hands of the pronubae; but cf. Fest. 24a “patrimi et matrimi pueri tres nubentem deducunt, unus qui facem praefert ex spina alba, quia noctu nubebant, duo qui tenent nubentem.”