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Epithalamium On Vinia And Manlius

Of Helicon-hill, O Thou that be
Haunter, Urania's progeny,
Who hurriest soft virginity
To man, 0 Hymenaeus Hymen,
0 Hymen Hymenaeus.

About thy temples bind the bloom,
Of Marjoram flow'ret scented sweet;
Take flamey veil: glad hither come
Come hither borne by snow-hue'd feet
Wearing the saffron'd sock.

And, roused by day of joyful cheer,
Carolling nuptial lays and chaunts
With voice as silver ringing clear,
Beat ground with feet, while brandisht flaunts
Thy hand the piney torch.

For Vinia comes by Manlius woo'd,
As Venus on th' Idalian crest,
Before the Phrygian judge she stood
And now with blessed omens blest,
The maid is here to wed.

A maiden shining bright of blee,
As Myrtle branchlet Asia bred,
Which Hamadryad deity
As toy for joyance aye befed
With humour of the dew.

Then hither come thou, hieing lief,
Awhile to leave th' Aonian cave,
Where 'neath the rocky Thespian cliff
Nymph Aganippe loves to lave
In cooly waves outpoured.

And call the house-bride, homewards bring
Maid yearning for new married fere,
Her mind with fondness manacling,
As the tough ivy here and there
Errant the tree enwinds.

And likewise ye, clean virginal
Maidens, to whom shall haps befall
Like day, in measure join ye all
Singing, 0 Hymenaeus Hymen,
0 Hymen Hymenaeus.

That with more will-full will a-hearing
The call to office due, he would
Turn footsteps hither, here appearing,
Guide to good Venus, and the good
Lover conjoining strait.

What God than other Godheads more
Must love-sick wights for aid implore?
Whose Godhead foremost shall adore
Mankind? 0 Hymenaeus Hymen,
O Hymen Hymenaeus.

Thee for his own the trembling sire
Invokes, thee Virgins ever sue
Who laps of zone to loose aspire,
And thee the bashful bridegrooms woo
With ears that long to hear.

Thou to the hand of love-fierce swain
Deliverest maiden fair and fain,
From mother's fondling bosom ta'en
Perforce, 0 Hymenaeus Hymen
0 Hymen Hymenaeus.

Thou lacking, Venus ne'er avails—
While Fame approves for honesty—
Love-joys to lavish: ne'er she fails
Thou willing:—with such Deity
Whoe'er shall dare compare?

Thou wanting, never son and heir
The Hearth can bear, nor parents be
By issue girt, yet can it bear,
Thou willing:—with such Deity,
Whoe'er shall dare compare?

An lack a land thy sacring rite,
The perfect rule we ne'er shall see
Reach Earth's far bourne; yet such we sight,
Thou willing:—with such Deity
Whoe'er shall dare compare?

Your folds ye gateways wide-ope swing!
The maiden comes. Seest not the sheen
Of links their splendent tresses fling?
Let shame retard the modest mien.

...
...
Who more she hears us weeps the more,
That needs she must advance.

Cease raining tear-drops! not for thee,
Aurunculeia, risk we deem,
That fairer femininety
Clear day outdawned from Ocean stream
Shall ever more behold.

Such in the many-tinted bower
Of rich man's garden passing gay
Upstands the hyacinthine flower.
But thou delayest, wanes the day:
“Prithee, come forth new Bride.”

Prithee, come forth new Bride! methinks,
Drawing in sight, the talk we hold
Thou haply hearest. See the Links!
How shake their locks begilt with gold:
Prithee, new Bride come forth.

Not lightly given thy mate to ill
Joys and adulterous delights
Foul fleshly pleasures seeking still
Shall ever choose he lie o' nights
Far from thy tender paps.

But as with pliant shoots the vine
Round nearest tree-trunk winds her way,
He shall be ever twined in thine
Embraces:— yet, lo! wanes the day:
Prithee, come forth new Bride!

Couchlet which to me and all
...
With bright white bedstead foot.

What joys the lord of thee betide!
What love-liesse on vaguing way
0' nights! What sweets in morning tide
For thee be stored! Yet wanes the day:
Prithee, come forth fresh Bride!

Your lighted links, 0 boys, wave high:
I see the flamey veil draw nigh:
Hie, sing in merry mode and cry
"0 Hymen Hymenaeus io,
0 Hymen Hymenaeus!"

Lest longer mute tongue stays that joys
In festal jest, from Fescennine,
Nor yet denay their nuts to boys,
He-Concubine! who learns in fine
His lordling's love is fled.

Throw nuts to boys thou idle all
He-Concubine! wast fain full long
With nuts to play: now pleased as thrall
Be thou to swell Talasios' throng:
He-Concubine throw nuts.

Wont thou at peasant-girls to jape
He-whore! Thy Lord's delight the while:
Now shall hair-curling chattel scrape
Thy cheeks: poor wretch, ah! poor and vile:—
He-Concubine, throw nuts.

'Tis said from smooth-faced ingle train
(Anointed bridegroom!) hardly fain
Hast e'er refrained; now do refrain!
O Hymen Hymenaeus io,
O Hymen Hymenaeus!

We know that naught save licit rites
Be known to thee, but wedded wights
No more deem lawful such delights.
O Hymen Hymenaeus io,
O Hymen Hymenaeus.

Thou too, 0 Bride, whatever dare
Thy groom, of coy rebuff beware,
Lest he to find elsewhither fare.
O Hymen Hymenaeus io,
O Hymen Hymenaeus.

Lo! here the house of high degree
Thy husband's puissant home to be,
Which ever shall obey thy gree.
O Hymen Hymenaeus io,
O Hymen Hymenaeus!

Till Time betide when eld the hoar
Thy head and temples trembling o'er
Make nod to all things evermore.
O Hymen Hymenaeus io,
0 Hymen Hymenaeus.

O'erstep with omen meetest meet
The threshold-stone thy golden feet
Up, past the polisht panels fleet.
O Hymen Hymenaeus io,
O Hymen Hymerneus.

Within bestrewn thy bridegroom see
On couch of Tyrian cramoisy
All imminent awaiting thee.
O Hymen Hymenaeus io,
O Hymen Hymenaeus.

For in his breast not less than thine
Burn high the flames that deepest shrine,
Yet his the lowe far deeper lien.
O Hymen Hymemeus io,
O Hymen Hymenaeus.

Let fall the maid's soft arms, thou fair
Boy purple-hem'd: now be thy care
Her bridegroom's couch she seek and share.
O Hymen Hymenaeus io,
0 Hymen Hymenaeus.

Ye wives time-tried to husbands wed,
Well-known for chastity inbred,
Dispose the virginette a-bed.
O Hymen Hymenaeus io,
0 Hymen Hymenaeus.

Groom, now 'tis meet thou hither pace,
With bride in genial bed to blend,
For sheenly shines her flowery face
Where the white chamomiles contend
With poppies blushing red.

Yet bridegroom (So may Godhead deign
Help me!) nowise in humbler way
Art fair, nor Venus shall disdain
Thy charms, but look! how wanes the day:
Forward, nor loiter more!

No longer loitering makest thou,
Now comest thou. May Venus good
Aid thee when frankly takest thou
Thy wishes won, nor true Love woo'd
Thou carest to conceal.

Of Afric's wolds and wilds each grain,
Or constellations glistening,
First reckon he that of the twain
To count alone were fain to bring
The many thousand joys.

Play as ye please: soon prove ye deft
At babying babes,—'twere ill design'd
A name thus ancient should be left
Heirless, but issue like of kind
Engendered aye should be.

A wee Torquaitus fain I'd see
Encradled on his mother's breast
Put forth his tender puds while he
Smiles to his sire with sweetest gest
And liplets half apart.

Let son like father's semblance show
Manlius!) so with easy guess
All know him where his sire they know,
And still his face and form express
His mother's honest love.

Approve shall fair approof his birth
From mother's seed-stock generous,
As rarest fame of mother's worth
Unique exalts Telemachus
Penelope's own son.

Fast close the door-leaves, virgin band:
Enow we've played. But ye the fair
New-wedded twain live happy, and
Functions of lusty married pair
Exercise sans surcease.

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  • Commentary references to this page (25):
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 108
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 17
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 2
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 3
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 32
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 34
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 36
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 45
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 50
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    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 61
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 62
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    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 64
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 66
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 68a
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 68b
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 7
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 71
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 8
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 80
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 97
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 456
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 813
    • George W. Mooney, Commentary on Apollonius: Argonautica, 1.288
  • Cross-references to this page (9):
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