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Vesper is here: youths, arise. Vesper at last has just borne aloft in the heavens his long awaited light. Now it is time to arise, now to leave the luxurious tables, now will come the virgin, now will be sung the Hymenaeus. Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen come O Hymenaeus! Maidens
Unwedded girls, do you see the youths? Arise in response: so it must be that the Star of Eve displays its Oetaean fires. Surely it is thus; see how fleetly they have leapt forth? Nor without intent have they leapt forth; what they will sing, it is our task to surpass. Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen come O Hymenaeus! Youths
For us, comrades, the palm of victory is not easily acquired; see how the girls rehearse what they planned. They do not plan in vain, what they have may be memorable. No wonder: for inwardly they toil with whole of their minds. Our minds are parted in one direction, our ears in another: rightfully therefore we shall be surpassed, for victory loves solicitude. So then, at least now focus your attention: now they begin to sing, now we shall have to respond. Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen come O Hymenaeus! Maidens
Hesperus! what crueler star is borne aloft in the heavens? you who could pluck a maid from her mother's embrace, pluck a clinging maid from her mother's embrace, and could give the chaste girl to a burning youth. What more cruel could victors accomplish in vanquished city? Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen come O Hymenaeus! Youths
Hesperus! what more delightful star shines in the heavens? you who strengthen with your flame the marriage betrothals which husbands pledge, and which the fathers pledged before, and they are not joined before your flame is borne aloft. What more wished for do the gods give than that happy hour? Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen come O Hymenaeus! Maidens
Hesperus, comrades, has stolen one girl away from us, ... [Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen come O Hymenaeus!] Youths
For at your approach a guard always keeps watch. Thieves lie in wait by night, often on your return with your name changed, Hesperus, you catch the same men. Yet it pleases the unwedded girls to criticize you with false complaints. But what if they criticize the one whom with silent mind they long for? Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen come O Hymenaeus! Maidens
As grows the hidden flower in a walled garden, unknown to cattle, uprooted by no plow, which the breezes caress, the sun strengthens, and the rain gives growth: many boys and many girls have longed for it: this same flower when plucked by a delicate fingernail sheds its blossoms: no boys and no girls long for it: so the virgin, while she stays untouched, so long is she dear to her own; when she has lost her chaste flower from her body profaned, she does not remain a delight for the boys,she beauteous, nor is she dear to the girls. Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen come O Hymenaeus! Youths
As the widowed vine which grows in naked field never uplifts itself, never ripens a mellow grape, but bending prone beneath the weight of its tender body now and again its highmost shoot touches with its root; this no farmer, no oxen will cultivate: but if this same chance to be joined with marital elm, many farmers, many oxen will cultivate it: so the virgin, while she stays untouched, so long does she age, uncultivated; but when she obtains fitting union at the right time, dearer is she to her husband and less of a trouble to her father. Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen come O Hymenaeus! Youths and Maidens
Even you, virgin, do not struggle against such a mate. It is improper to struggle with him to whom your father has handed you over, your father himself together with your mother whom you must obey. Your maidenhead is not wholly yours, in part it is your parents': a third part is your father's, a third part is given to your mother, a third alone is yours: be unwilling to struggle against two, who to their son-in-law their rights together with dowry have given. Hymen O Hymenaeus, Hymen come O Hymenaeus!
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