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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Verses from an Epithalamium
By Gaius Valerius Catullus (c. 84–c. 54 B.C.)
 
Translation of Sir Theodore Martin

AND now, ye gates, your wings unfold!
The virgin draweth nigh. Behold
The torches, how upon the air
They shake abroad their gleaming hair!
Come, bride, come forth! no more delay!        5
The day is hurrying fast away!
 
But lost in shame and maiden fears,
She stirs not,—weeping, as she hears
The friends that to her tears reply,—
Thou must advance, the hour is nigh!        10
Come, bride, come forth! no more delay!
The day is hurrying fast away!”
 
Dry up thy tears! For well I trow,
No woman lovelier than thou,
Aurunculeia, shall behold        15
The day all panoplied in gold,
And rosy light uplift his head
Above the shimmering ocean’s bed!
 
As in some rich man’s garden-plot,
With flowers of every hue inwrought,        20
Stands peerless forth with drooping brow
The hyacinth, so standest thou!
Come, bride, come forth! no more delay!
The day is hurrying fast away!
*        *        *        *        *
Soon my eyes shall see, mayhap,        25
Young Torquatus on the lap
Of his mother, as he stands
Stretching out his tiny hands,
And his little lips the while
Half-open on his father smile.        30
 
And oh! may he in all be like
Manlius his sire, and strike
Strangers, when the boy they meet,
As his father’s counterfeit,
And his face the index be        35
Of his mother’s chastity!
 
Him, too, such fair fame adorn,
Son of such a mother born,
That the praise of both entwined
Call Telemachus to mind,        40
With her who nursed him on her knee,
Unparagoned Penelope!
 
Now, virgins, let us shut the door!
Enough we’ve toyed, enough and more!
But fare ye well, ye loving pair,        45
We leave ye to each other’s care;
And blithely let your hours be sped
In joys of youth and lustyhed!
 
 
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