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Carmen 62 (in English by Brendan Rau)
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Available in Latin, Chinese, Croatian, English, French, Hungarian, Italian, and Scanned. Compare two languages here.
The evening star is here, young men, so rise: the evening star
at last brings heaven its long-awaited bodies of light.
Now it is time to rise, time to quit the well stocked tables.
Now a young maiden will come; the wedding refrain will be sung.
Hymenaeus Hymen, come! O Hymen Hymenaeus!
You maidens, do you see the young men? Rise to face them;
the Night-bringer no doubt reveals Oetean fires.
No doubt but this is true: do you see how nimbly they have sprung forth?
They haven't sprung forth without good cause; we must outdo what they will sing.
Hymenaeus Hymen, come! O Hymen Hymenaeus!

An easy victory palm has not been furnished us, my friends, for look:
the maidens search their memories for things they have rehearsed.
They don't rehearse in vain: they hold what is worth remembering;
and this is no wonder, for they are deep at work with the whole of their minds.
But with one thing we've divided our minds, with another, divided our ears;
hence, by law, we'll be defeated: victory loves concern.
Therefore turn at least your minds around now;
now they'll begin to speak, and now we'll be pressed to answer.
Hymenaeus Hymen, come! O Hymen Hymenaeus!

Evening star, what heavenly body is borne more savagely through the sky?
You, who can tear a daughter away from her mother's embrace,
tear a daughter away from a mother's embrace! though she holds fast,
and give the chaste girl to a young man on fire!
What greater cruelty do invaders inflict when a city has been taken?
Hymenaeus Hymen, come! O Hymen Hymenaeus!

Evening star, what heavenly body shines more delightfully in the sky?
O you, who strengthen with your flame a wedding pledged,
which the men and parents have fixed in place beforehand,
they did not join bride and groom before your blaze carried itself away.
What thing more desired do the gods give at a happy hour?
Hymenaeus Hymen, come! O Hymen Hymenaeus!

My friends, the Evening Star has taken a maiden away from us...


...Evening Star, the watchman always wakes at your arrival,
thieves lurk in the night, and you often catch them as you return,
like the watchman, by the pseudonym of the Dawn.
But maidens like to carp at you with disingenuous complaint.
Why then, if they complain, do they silently seek you out?
Hymenaeus Hymen, come! O Hymen Hymenaeus!

Just as it is that a flower, unknown to the livestock,
is born secluded within gardens enclosed, by no plow uprooted,
a flower which the breezes caress, the sun strengthens, the rain nurtures:
many boys and many girls have desired it.
So it is that a young woman, as long as she remains untouched, so long she is dear to her people;
but when she has lost her chaste flower, her body besmirched,
she remains neither pleasant for boys nor dear to girls.
Hymenaeus Hymen, come! O Hymen Hymenaeus!

Just as it is that an unsupported vine which is born in a naked field
never lifts itself up and never rears a succulent bunch of grapes,
but bending its frail body downward with its weight toward the ground,
it just now touches with its root the tip of its whiplike shoot:
no farmers have tilled it, and no bullocks have tilled it.
But if perchance the same vine has been joined together with an elm as its husband,
many farmers have tilled it, and many bullocks have tilled it.
So it is that a young woman, while she remains untouched, and while she ages unkempt,
when she has gained marriage with one of equal rank when the time is ripe,
she is more dear to her husband and less often hated by her father.
Hymenaeus Hymen, come! O Hymen Hymenaeus!

And you, young woman, do not resist such a husband!
It isn't just to resist him to whom your father has handed you down;
you must obey your father along with your mother. Your virginity is not completely yours;
it is in part your parents'; a third has been given to your father,
a third has been given to your mother, and only a third is yours.
Do not resist them who gave their son-in-law their own rights over you,
along with your dowry.
Hymenaeus Hymen, come! O Hymen Hymenaeus!

Taken with kind permission from Brendan
© copyright 17-4-1999 by Brendan Rau
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