You who dwell on Helicon Hill, sprung from Urania, who carry off the gentle
virgin to her mate, O Hymenaeus Hymen, O Hymen Hymenaeus!
Twine round your temples sweet-smelling flowers of marjoram; put on your
gold-tinted veil; lighthearted here, come here, bearing on snowy foot the
And afire with the joyous day, chanting wedding melodies with ringing voice,
strike the ground with your feet, with your hand swing aloft the torch of
For Vinia—fair as Venus
dwelling in Idalium
when came to the
Phrygian judge—a virgin fair, weds Manlius amid happy auspices.
She, bright-shining as the Asian myrtle florid in its branches, which the
Hamadryads nurture for their pleasure with besprinkled dew.
So come then! convey your approach here, leaving the Aonian cave in cliffs of
, over which flows the
chilling stream of Aganippe.
And summon homewards the mistress, eager for her new husband, firm-prisoning her
soul in love; as tight-clasping ivy, wandering here and there, wraps the tree
And also you, upright virgins, for whom a like day is nearing, chant in cadence,
singing “O Hymenaeus Hymen, O Hymen Hymenaeus!”
That more freely, hearing himself to his duty called, will he bear here his
presence, Lord of honorable love, uniter of true lovers.
What god is worthier to be sought by anxious lovers? Whom of the celestials do
men worship more greatly? O Hymenaeus Hymen, O Hymen Hymenaeus!
You for his young the trembling father beseeches, for you virgins unclasp the
belt from their breasts, for you the fearful bridegroom harkens with eager
You deliver into the hands of the untamed youth that flower-like maiden, taken
from her mother's bosom, O Hymenaeus Hymen, O Hymen Hymenaeus!
Without you Venus can do nothing suitable that good repute sanctions; but she
can, with you willing. Who dares to be compared with such a god?
Without you, no house can produce heirs, no parent be surrounded by offspring;
but they can, with you willing. Who dares to be compared with such a god?
And lacking your rites no land can give protection to its territory; but it can,
with you willing. Who dares to be compared with such a god?
Unbolt, open the gates: the virgin is here. See how the torches shake their
gleaming locks? ...
... Her natural modesty detains her: hearing this the more, she weeps because
she must go.
Cease your tears. For you there is no peril, Aurunculeia, that any woman more
beauteous will ever see the light of day coming from Ocean.
You are like the hyacinth flower, which stands aloft amid varied riches of its
master's garden. But you delay, day slips by: advance, new bride.
Advance, new bride, it it now seems right, and listen to our speech. See how the
torches shake their glittering tresses: advance, new bride.
Nor is your man a fickle husband, given to ill adulteries, seeking shameless
acts, ever wishing to lie away from your soft breasts,
But as the lithe vine among neighbouring trees doth cling, so shall he be
enclasped in your embrace. But day slips by: advance, new bride.
O nuptial couch which for all ... with feet of
What joys are coming to your man in fleeting night, in noon of day, let him
rejoice! but day slips by: advance, new bride.
Raise high, 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, favorite, hearing your master's
love has flown, deny the nuts to the boys.
Give nuts to the boys, O listless favorite; long enough have you played nuts: now
you must serve Talassius. O favorite, give the nuts!
The country wives were dirt to you, O favorite, but yesterday: now the barber
shaves your face. Wretched, wretched favorite, give the nuts.
They will say when the bridegroom has been annointed that you can scarce abstain
from your hairless boys: butabstain! O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen
We know that these delights were known to you only when lawful: but to the wedded
these same no more are lawful. O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus!
You also, bride, what your husband seeks beware of denying, lest he go elsewhere
in its search. O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus!
Look, your husband's home is yours, influential and goodly, allow it to serve you
(O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus!)
Until white-haired old age, shaking your trembling brow, nods assent to
everything. O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus!
Bring with good omen your golden feet across the threshold, and go through the
polished doorway. O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus!
Look! your husband alone within, lying on Tyrian couch, all-expectant waits for
you. O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus!
No less than in yours, in his breast burns an inmost flame, but more deeply
inward. O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus!
Release the maiden's slender arm, boy with crimson-bordered toga: now let her
approach her husband's couch. O Hymen Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus.
You good women of fair renown to aged spouses, put the maiden to bed. O Hymen
Hymenaeus io, O Hymen Hymenaeus.
Now you may come, bridegroom: your wife is in the bedroom, with face brightly
blushing as white parthenice amid ruddy poppies.
But, bridegroom (so help me the heaven-dwellers) in no way less beautiful are
you, nor does Venus slight you. But the day slips by: on! do not delay.
You have not delayed for long, now you are coming. Kindly Venus will help you,
since what you desire you take publicly, and do not conceal true love.
Whoever wishes to keep count of your many thousand games, first let him make an
accounting of the number of Africa
sands and the glittering stars.
Play as you like, and speedily give heirs. It does not become so old a name to
without children, but from similar stock always to be generated.
A little Torquatus I wish, from his mother's lap reaching out his dainty hands,
and smiling sweetly at his father with lips apart.
May he be like his father Manlius
easily acknowledged by every stranger, and by his face point out his mother's
May such praise confirm his birth from true mother, such fame as rests only with
Telemachus from best of mothers, Penelope.
Close the doors, virgins: enough we've played. But, fair bride and groom, live
you well, and diligently fulfil the office of vigorous youth.