Veneres: the plural is to be explained partly, perhaps, as an instance of a sort of attraction to the number of Cupidines, as Ellis and Schulze think (cf. Catul. 13.12 with Catul. 36.3), but more as resulting from the conception of the character of Venus and of Lesbia. In the type of Venus were summed up all graces and charms of mind and body. Lesbia was attractive for mental as well as for physical endowments (cf. Catul. 36.1ff. and Catul. 86.1ff.); she therefore possessed omnes Veneres (Catul. 86.6); and Catullus calls upon all to share her sorrow who by the possession of similar characteristics (quantum est hom. ven.） can sympathize with her loss. Cf. Mart. 9.11.9; Mart. 11.13.6 “Veneres Cupidinesque.”
Cupidines: the conception already familiar to the Greeks of more than Ἔρος is here extended to the Latin tongue; cf. Hor. Carm. 1.19.1; Hor. 4.1.5 “mater saeva Cupidinum” ; Ov. Am. 3.15.1 “tenerorum mater Amorum” ; Ov. Fast. 4.1 “geminorum mater Amorum.”
 venustiorum: on the meaning see note on v. 1 Veneres, and cf. Catul. 13.6; Catul. 22.2. So far as there is any comparative idea in the word, it is that of comparison, not with other homines venusti, but with other homines, ‘and all ye men of any degree of grace.’
 meae puellae: undoubtedly the Lesbia of the other poems: (1) so Martial thought (cf. Mart. 7.14.3 “ploravit amica Catulli Lesbia, nequitiis passeris orba sui” ; Mart. 14.77 “qualem dilecta Catullo Lesbia plorabat” ), though Juvenal follows Catullus in mentioning no name ( Juv. 6.7 “nec tibi, cuius turbavit nitidos exstinctus passer ocellos” ); (2) in the few other places where Catullus speaks of his ‘puella,’ no other than Lesbia is indicated (cf. Catul. 11.15; Catul. 13.11; Catul. 36.2; Catul. 37.11); (3) stronger than all other proof is the internal evidence from the poems themselves, for Catullus surely loved but one woman, and spoke of no other in words of such pure, tender, and all-absorbing passion as in Catul. 2.1ff. and Catul. 3.1ff.
 The initial epanalepsis gives the mournfully iterative tone of a dirge, while the identity of v. 4 with Catul. 2.1 connects the two poems skillfully, and heightens the effect of each by contrast with the other.
 plus oculis suis amabat: cf. Catul. 14.1 “plus oculis meis amarem;” and similar expressions, Catul. 82.2 Catul. 82.4 carius oculis; Catul. 104. 2 “carior oculis ” : Shakspeare, Lear 1.1 ““I love you … dearer than eyesight.”” Although the figure in plus oculis amare is not common in Latin, Terence uses twice the same expression ( Ter. Ad. 701 “magis te quam oculos nunc ego amo meos” ; Ter. Ad. 903 “qui te amat plus quam hosce oculos” ), and so it is not altogether due to Menandrian influence.
 mellitus: Catullus uses this word in but two other places (Catul. 48.1; Catul. 99.1), once of the kissable eyes of Juventius and once of the boy himself, so that it is seen to be with him exclusively a term of endearment; Plautus uses it but once, and in that sense ( Pl. Ps. 180 “quibus vitae estis, quibus … mammillae mellitae” ); Cicero uses it but once, and in that sense (Cic. Att. 1.18.1 cum … mellito Cicerone) while in Varro it appears first in the literal sense ( Varr. RR 3.16.22 “melliti favi” ), as it does later in Horace (Hor. Ep. 1.10.11 pane egeo iam mellitis potiore placentis) Plautus also twice uses the diminutive mellitulus.
 suam: puellam is to be supplied from the genitives of the preceding verses, as shown by the puella of v. 7; cf. Tib. 1.4.75 “pareat ille suae” (where coniunx has preceded); Tib. 2.5.103 “nam ferus ille suae plorabat sobrius idem” (when puellae has preceded).
 puella: i.e. Lesbia
 modo huc modo illuc: cf. Catul. 15.7, Catul. 50.5 “modo hoc modo illoc,” Catul. 68.133 “hinc illinc,” Sen. Apoc 9 “modo huc modo illuc cursabat,” Cic. Att. 13.25.3 “o Academiam volaticam … modo huc modo illuc!”
 tenebricosum: an unusual, though Ciceronian word for the poetical tenebrosum. On the conception of the shadowy journey to Orcus cf. v. 13 tenebrae Orci Hor. Carm. 4.2.22 “nigro Orco ” , Verg. G. 3.551 Stygiis emissa tenebris; Prop. 4.9.41 “Stygias tenebras” ; Ov. Met. 5.359 “tenebrosa sede tyrannus exierat” ; Ov. Met. 1.113 “tenebrosa in Tartara” ; Calp. Buc. 1.52 “omnia Tartareo subigentur carcere bella immergentque caput tenebris. ”
 unde: etc., quoted by Sen. Apoc. 11ff. and imitated in Anth. Lat. 1704.11 Mey. “[domus Averni] unde fata negant redire quemquam.” The conception is thoroughly Greek, but from this time becomes common in Latin literature; cf. Verg. A. 6.425 “ripam irremeabilis undae” ; Hor. Carm. 2.3.27 “in aeternum exsilium” ; Prop. 4.11.2 “panditur ad nullas ianua nigra preces.” Shakespeare Ham. 3.1 ““the undiscover'd country from whose bourn no traveler returns.””
 at: very rarely used in imprecations in prose; but cf. Catul. 27.5; Catul. 28.14; Catul. 36.18; Pl. Most. 38 “at te Iuppiter dique omnes perdant!” Ter. Eun. 431 “at te di perdant” ; Hor. S. 2.6.54 “at omnes di exagitent me” ; Verg. A. 2.535 “at tibi pro scelere … di … praemia reddant debita.”
 Orci: here not the god of the underworld, as in Hor. Carm. 2.18.34 “satelles Orci;” but the under-world itself, as in Hor. Carm. 4.2.22 “mores aureos … nigro invidet Orco.” tenebrae Orci is, then, equivalent to tenebrosus Orear; cf. v.11 n.
 mihi: another graceful touch of tender sympathy; the grief suffered by Lesbia is Catullus' own grief.
 o factum male: cf. Ter. Phor. 751 “male factum!” Cic. Att 15.1a.1 “o factum male de Alexione !” (in both instances of death); and the inscription cited in the introductory note to this poem, Wilmann Ex. Inscr. Lat. 584.4 “o factum male, Myia, quod peristi !”
 The poem ends with the graceful turning of sympathy back from the dead sparrow to the sorrowing mistress, who is the chief object of the poet's thought.
 In spite of his fondness for diminutives, only twice elsewhere does Catullus use the diminutive form of both noun and adjective; Catul. 25.2 “imula auricilla” ; Catul. 64.316 “aridulis labellis” . The complaint about disfigurement of the eyes is especially fitting, since one of Clodia's chief charms was her brilliant eyes; cf. Cic. Att 2.14.1 “de conloquio” βοώπιδος; Cic. Cael. 20.49 “flagrantia oculorum” ; Cic. Har. Resp. 18.38 “hos flagrantis [oculos];” all references to Clodia.