I thought passion's reign was ended, but the imperious mother of the loves resumes her sway and suffers me to sing of naught but Glycera, whose bright beauty fires my heart. Quick! an altar of turf and a victim to propitiate the resistless goddess.Imitated by Congreve, Johnson's Poets, 10. 278.
Repeated 4. 1. 5. Cf. Pind. fr. 122. 4, ματέρ᾽ Ἐρώτων. The 'Loves' as attendants on Venus belong rather to the prettinesses of later Greek poetry and art. But cf. Aeschyl. Suppl. 1043; Bion. Epitaph. Adon. 80 sqq.; Catull. 3. 1; Stat. Silv. 1. 2. 61; Claud. de Nupt. Honor. 72; Tenn., 'a bevy of Eroses apple cheeked.'
Semelae puer: Bacchus, cf. 1. 17. 22. Some read Greek gen. Semeles.
Licentia: ὕβρις, 'Love's wantonness.'
finitis: i.e. as I thought.—animum reddere: cf. 1. 16. 28.
urit: cf. Verg. Eclog. 2. 68, urit amor. Glycera recurs, 1. 30. 3; 1. 33. 2.—nitor: cf. 1. 5. 13; 2. 5. 18; 3. 12. 6.
Pario marmore: of Paros, one of the Cyclades; cf. Verg. Aen. 3. 126, niveamque Paron; Ov. Fast. 4. 135, marmoreo . . . collo; Theoc. 6. 38; Browning, 'great, smooth, marbly limbs.'
grata protervitas: her pretty pertness; her eye that 'sounds a parley to provocation' (Meleager, λαμυροῖς ὄμμασι Anth. Pal. 5. 180. 2).
lubricus adspici: i.e. slippery to the eye as ice to the foot. Cf. Tenn. Lucret. 'And here an Oread—how the sun delights | To glance and shift about her slippery sides'; Dante, Purg. 8. 34, 'ma nelle facce l'occhio si smarria'; Milton, Il Pens. 'whosesaintly visage is too bright | To hit the sense of human sight,'P.L. 'His countenance too severe to be beheld.'
ruens: cf. Eurip. Hippol. 443, Κύπρις γὰρ οὐ φορητὸς ἢν πολλὴ ῥυῇ.
Cyprum: cf.on 1. 3. 1; 1. 30. 2.—Scythas: 2. 11. 1; vaguely like Massagetae, Geloni, Thraces, Daci, Medi, Persae, Parthi. Venus will not allow the poet to celebrate the ambitions and triumphs of Rome in the East. She compels him to devote himself to love themes.
versis . . . equis: Roman soldiers had learned to beware of the retreat of Parthian cavalry, who shot as they fled. Ὑπέφευγον γὰρ ἅμα βάλλοντες οἱ Πάρθοι (Plut. Crass. 24). Cf. 2. 13. 18; Verg. G. 3. 31.—animosum makes a slight oxymoron.
quae nihil attinent: absolutely, things which do not matter. It is the lover's point of view.
vivum . . . caespitem: cf. 3. 8. 4.
verbenas: any herb or green sprig used in religious rites.Cf. 4. 11. 7.—tura: 1. 39. 3; 1. 36. 1; 3. 8. 2, etc.
binii: new wine was used (cf. 1. 31. 2) unmixed with water, meri.
veniet: cf. supra, 9, ruens; Eurip. Medea, 630, εἰ δ᾽ ἅλις ἔλθοι Κύπρις.—mactata . . . hostia is perhaps vaguely used for sacro peracto. Tac. Hist. 2. 3. 5, speaks of sacrifices to the Paphian Venus, but even there the blood was not permitted to defile her altar.