vivamus: the key-note of the whole poem is struck in the first word; with vivere in this pregnant sense, ‘to enjoy life,’ cf. Verg. Copa 38 “mors aurem vellens ‘vivite’ ait ‘venio” ; Mart. 1.15.12 “sera nimis vita est crastina; vive hodie;” and the proverbial dum vivimus, vivamus.
 senum severiorum: old men are proverbially censors of the young (cf. Hor. A. P. 174 “[senex] castigator censorque minorum” ), and this is one type of old man in Plautus and Terence; but cf. Cic. De Sen. 65 “severitatem in senectute probo, sed eam (ut alia) modicam; acerbitatem nullo modo.” With the comparative, cf. Catul. 3.2 “venustiorum” .
 unius aestimemus assis: i.e. count as naught; cf. Catul. 42.13 (assis facere); Catul. 10.13; Catul. 17.17 (pili facere); and, in the same sense, Catul. 23.25 (parvi putare). Catullus is the first to use in such phrases assis and pili, where Plautus and Terence have focci, nauci, pensi, nihili (cf. however Pl. Capt. 477 “neque ridiculos iam terrunci faciunt” ).
[4-6] On the general conception see Catul. 3.11, 12, n.; Prop. 3.15.24 “nox tibi longa venit, nec reditura dies” ; Hor. Carm. 4.7.13 ff. “damna tamen celeres reparant caelestia lunae; nos … pulvis et umbra sumus;” and most beautifully in the Lament for Bion (Mosch. 3.109 ff.), “‘Ah me, when the mallows wither in the garden, and the green parsley, and the curled tendrils of the anise, on a later day they live again, and spring in another year; but we men, we the great and mighty, or wise, when once we have died, in hollow earth we sleep, gone down into silence; a right long, and endless, and unawakening sleep. And thou too, in the earth wilt be lapped in silence’” (Lang): R. Browning, Toccata of Galluppi, “Death stepped tacitly and took them where they never see the sun.”
 basia: the word appears first here, but seems in later days to have supplanted entirely in the colloquial dialect both savia and the more formal oscula, whence it made its way into the Romance languages. The lack of apparent congeners in Latin and Greek, and the occurrence of “buss” in early English, and of the nouns buss, busserl and the verb bussen in early days in the conservative mountain dialects of South Germany and Austria, make it probable that this word was of Germanic origin, and made its way to Rome from the region of the Po.
 usque, straight on.
 fecerīmus: with the original quantity of the penult, as occasionally in the poets.
 invidere: i.e. to cast an evil eye, and so bring misfortune, upon a person or thing; cf. Accius ap. Cic. Tusc. 3.9.20 “quisnam florem liberum invidit meum?” The belief in ‘the evil eye’ is still wide-spread among eastern nations, and curious traces still survive among more highly civilized communities.
 tantum: just so many; cf. also Catul. 14.7 “tantum impiorum” . From ancient times down it has been believed that a spell could be surely based only on some mathematically exact enumeration of particulars (cf. Hor. Carm. 1.11.2 “Babylonios numeros” ), and so it has been held unsafe to tell, or even to know, such details about one's precious things.