ne: etc. it gives an easier passage of thought to v. 45 sed dicam to take vv. 43 and 44 as a final clause directly dependent upon non possum reticere, rather than to read with the MSS. nec and understand the clause as a parenthetical wish (for a potential subjunctive here seems impossible). With MS. nec for a genuine ne cf. v. 103; Catul. 21.13; Catul. 62.59; Catul. 99.9.
 The figure is of a forgotten memorial inscription. The spider-web as a sign of human desertion is as old as Homer; cf. Hom. Od.16.34 “Ὀδυσσῆος δέ που εὐνὴ χήτει ἐνευναίων κάκ᾽ ἀράχνια κεῖται ἔχουσα” ; and the reminiscence in Prop. 4.6.33 “putris et in vacuo texetur aranea lecto” ; also
 duplex: of the twofold character of Venus as causing grief as well as joy; cf. v. 18 n.; Catul. 64.95; but the expression is sometimes understood to refer to the hermaphroditic statue of the goddess at Amathus.
 corruerit: overwhelmed; love's visit to him was with a vigorous assault that carried all defenses at once. With the active meaning of the verb cf. Lucr. 5.367 “quae possint forte coorta corruere hanc rerum summam” .
 quantum: etc. the comparison of figurative flames to the fires of Etna is not uncommon; cf. Hor. Ep. 17.30 “ardeo quantum … nec Sicana fervida virens in Aetna flamma” ; Ov. Epist. Sapph. 12 “me calor Aetnaeo non minor igne tenet” .
 qualis: etc., i. e. the lover's tears ran as freely and constantly as an unfailing mountain-brook. The development of the details of the figure is but a poetical embellishment. With the figure in general cf. Hom. Il. 9.14 “ἵστατο δάκρυ χέων ὥς τε κρήνη μελάνυδρος” , etc.; Hom. Il.16.3; and a similar comparison of tears to melting snows in Sen. Phaedr. 389 ff.
 perlucens: of the thread-like sheen of a stream seen afar off on a mountain-side.
[59-61] 59-61. The stream rises among lofty mountains, finds its way down through a valley, and finally emerges from its solitudes upon the plains in the midst of the paths of a great people (v. 60), whom it furnishes with refreshment on their journeys.
 lenius: etc. cf.
.Sil. Ital. 15.162
 implorata: probably a nominative modifying aura (cf. Hor. Ep. 2.1.135 “caelestes implorat aquas docta prece blandus” ), though Nipperdey and Jordan believe it to be an ablative with prece absolute, after the analogy of Pl. Rud. 258 “qui sunt, qui a patrona preces mea expetessunt?” Corn. Nep. Ep. Corn. “non pudet te deum preces expetere?”
 molli: an almost formal epithet, as often.
 diva: only here as an appellation of a mistress, though comparisons to particular deities are not uncommon; cf. v. 133 where Lesbia is invested with the attributes of Venus.
 arguta: apparently of sound rather than of shape (cf. Catul. 6.11), but whether some omen was connected with the creaking of the sandal, or it was simply the happy presage of her coming to the eagerly listening lover, is doubtful.
[73-130] The comparison of the warmth of Lesbia's love to that of Laodamia's. The episode is thoroughly Alexandrian in its length and complexity. It seems unnecessary and unfitting after observation of other similar mythological illustrations in Catullus to suppose the comparison to extend to the details of the unrighteous beginning (vv. 75, 76) and fatal effects (vv. 85, 86) of the passion, even if Catullus could have admitted to himself such an extension of the resemblance. —Part of the story is as old as Homer (cf. Hom. Il. 11.695 ff.), though nothing is said there of the final cause of the death of Protesilaus. Euripides in his Protesilaus appears first to embody the tale of the hero's return to earth for one day in accordance with his wife's prayer (cf. also Hyg. Fab. 103, and Wordsworth Laodamia). On the subject cf. also Ov. Her. 13.
 hostia: probably not with reference to a special pre-nuptial sacrifice, but to the sacrifices thought necessary before entering upon any new undertaking.
 quod, etc., which (i. e. the final severing of the marriage bond by death) the Fates knew to be not far distant.
 abesse: the MSS. abisse can be only the perfect for the future in a definitely decided contingency, and that effect is interfered with by the occqrrence of a phrase (non longo tempore） pointing definitely to the future. With the MSS. error cf. Prop. 3.16.32 where V reads abire for abesse.
 Troia: the word leads the poet into a digression on his brother's death, from which he returns to the main digression with v. 101.
 commune sepulcrum: so of the earth itself in Lucr. 5.259 “omniparens eadem rerum commune sepulcrum” ; but of a public burying-ground in Hor. S. 1.8.10 “hoc miserae plebi stabat commune sepulcrum” .
 cinis: funeral pyre; found only here in this sense. The noun is feminine also in the singular in Catul. 101.4 (as in Lucr. 4.926 and not infrequently in late Latin), but masculine in the plural in Catul. 68.98; cf. Non. 198 “[cinis] feminino apud Caesarem et Catullum et Calvum lectum est, quorum vacillat auctoritas” .
[92-6] hei, etc. cf. vv. 20-24.
 obscena: malign. The word was originally applied to things of ill omen.
[107-134] tanto: etc. explaining vita dulcius, etc.; he was dearer to you than life; for your love was deeper than the abyss of Pheneus (vv. 109-118), and your joy in him greater (vv. 129, 130) than that of the aged grandfather in the birth of an heir (vv. 119-124), or of a dove in the endearments of her mate (vv. 125-128). And such was the joy with which Lesbia came to me (vv. 131-134).
 barathrum: this name was sometimes applied by the Greeks to an artificial, in many cases subterranean, channel for the draining of a lake or overflowing river; cf. the emissarium of the Albam Lake.
 Pheneum: Pheneus was a city in northwestern Arcadia, near Mt. Cyllene. Pausanias (Paus. 8.14) mentions the ascription to Heracles of an existing outlet for the swollen waters of the neighboring river Olbios.
 falsiparens: ἅπαξ λεγόμενον, possibly suggested by Call. Hymn. Cer. 99 “ψευδοπάτωρ” (though in a different sense from that). Heracles was the reputed son of Amphitruo, but really the son of Zeus.
 Stymphalia: the place lay just to the east of Pheneus, and the destruction of the ravenous birds congregating there was the fifth of the labors imposed upon Heracles by Eurystheus, the deterioris eri (v. 116).
[115-118] The mighty deeds of Heracles were proving his fitness for a place among the gods and for the hand of Hebe.
 tunc: i. e. at the time of v. 107 f.
 indomitam: sc. prius; cf. Hor. Carm. 3.3.14 “tigres indocili iugum collo trahentes” : with the comparison of the maiden to an untamed heifer cf. Hor. Carm. 2.5.1 “nondum subacta ferre iugum valet cervice” : on the yoke of love, Hor. Carm. 3.9.17 “Venus diductos iugo cogit aeneo” ; Hor. Carm. 1.33.11 “formas atque animos sub iuga aenea saevo mittere cum ioco” ; Stat. Silv. 1.2.138 “thalami quamvis iuga ferre secundi saepe neget maerens” .
[121-124] The birth of an heir finally sets at naught the joy of the next-of-kin at the prospect of his own succession to the old man's wealth. By the Voconian Law (B.C. 169) no woman, not even an only daughter, could be the heir; cf. Gaius 2.274; Aug. Civ. Dei 3.21.5 “lata est etiam illa lex Voconia, ne quis heredem feminam faceret, nec unicam filiam” .
 testatas tabulas: i.e. the will, as duly signed and sealed in the presence of witnesses. After the completion of this legal form in favor of the grandson, the old man for the first time feels safe from the greedy expectations of the gentilis
 impia: becaase his joy was over the childlessness (save for a daughter) of a relative.
 vulturium: i.e. the presumptive heir, awaiting the old man's death as a vulture circles above his expected prey; cf. Sen. Epist 95.43 “at hoc hereditatis causa facit: vultur est, cadaver exspectat” ; Mart. 6.62.1 and Mart. 6.62.4 “amisit pater unicum Salanus … cuius vulturis hoc erit cadaver?” and (probably in the same sense) the reference to the corvus in Hor. S. 2.5.56.
 capiti: a very rare form of the ablative; see Neue Formenlehre 1.2 p.238.
[125-130] 125-130. Doves were patterns of conjugal affection and fidelity; cf. Prop. 3.15.27ff. “extemplo iunctae tibi sint in amore columbae, masculus et totum femina coniugium” ; Plin. NH 10.104 “columbae coniugi fidem non violant communemque servant domum;” Porph. on Hor. Epod. 16.32 “dititur columba nulli alii concumbere quam cui se semel iunxit” .
 improbius: more wantonly.
 multivola: from the cornparison to the dove, apparently with the meaning of multa oscula volens, rather than of multos amatores volens like v. 140 omnivoli. The word occurs elsewhere only in the Vulgate (Sir. 9.3).
 crocina in tunica: on the less common representation of a draped Eros see Sappho Frag. 64 “[Ἔρωτα] ἐλθόντ᾽ ἐξ ὀράνω πορφυρίαν περθέμενον χλάμυν” ; and illustrations in Baumeister Denkmäler 1 p.498. The saffron color is chosen perhaps because it was the color of Hymen's garb also; cf. Catul. 61.8 and Catul. 61.10.
[135-136] 135-136. Catullus has apparently been informed (perhaps by Manlius; Catul. 68.27) of the other infidelities of Lesbia, but now at first is trying to compromise with his love for her by pleading that they are but few (rara), and do not indicate a settled defection from his love, since they are so carefully concealed (verecundae erae); that even Queen Juno puts up with the multitudinous wanderings of her husband, and that after all Lesbia is not his wife, and, therefore, he ought rather to be grateful for the favors he does receive than to be overjealous of others.
 tamen: after all.
 dextra deducta paterna: not literally that the father conducted the bride in the marriage procession to the bride-groom's house, but figuratively only, in that marriages were arranged with the consent of the head of the family; cf. Catul. 62.60.
 lapide candidiore: cf. Catul. 64 a.; Catul. 107.6; Hor. Carm. 1.36.10 “Cressa ne careat pulchra dies nota” , which Porphyno explains by saying that the Cretans were accustomed to drop a white pebble into their quivers as a memorial of a day of happiness, and a black pebble to mark a day of sorrow. Bentley on the same passage gives further citations.
[149-160] The panegyric concludes with a direct address to Allius, which some critics have taken as a distinct poem, or as a strongly marked division of c. 68 as a threefold, though single, poem.
 huc: i.e. to this small tribute of mine.
 The verse apparently refers to some person whose assistance antedated that of Allius, perhaps is that he introduced Catullus to Lesbia or to Allius.
 me carior ipso: cf. Verg. Culex 211 “tua dum mihi carior ipsa vita fuit vita” ; Ov. Ex. Pont. 2.8.27 “per patriae nomen, quae te tibi carior ipso est;” and for similar compassons in Catullus, Catul. 3.5n.