Hie Vigil of Venus

Let him who has never loved love tomorrow, and let him who has loved love tomorrow! Spring [is] new, spring [is] now full of song, the world has been born in spring. In spring love brings hearts together, in spring the birds mate and the forest releases its foliage (i.e., the trees leaf out) because of the connubial rains. Tomorrow she who unites lovers weaves green arbors from myrtle shoots amid the shades of trees. Tomorrow Dione (i.e., Venus) delivers (lit., says) [her] judgments, seated on [her] lofty throne.

Let him who has never loved love tomorrow, and let him who has loved love tomorrow! The goddess herself has ordered the nymphs to go to the myrtle grove. The Boy goes [as] a companion for the girls (i.e., the nymphs). However, it would be beyond belief (lit., it cannot be believed) that Love is observing the holiday if he is carrying arrows. "Go, nymphs, he has laid down [his] weapons. Love is observing the holiday. He has been ordered to go without weapons, he has been ordered to go naked lest he do any harm with bow or arrow or with [his] torch. But nevertheless, take care, nymphs, because Cupid is beautiful. [That] same Love is fully armed when he is naked."

Let him who has never loved love tomorrow, and let him who has loved love tomorrow! The goddess has ordered the court to be set up amid the flowers of Hybla. She herself [as] adjudicator will deliver [her] judgments, the Graces will assist (lit., sit by) [her]. Hybla, pour forth all [your] flowers, everything that (lit., whatever) the year has brought. Hybla, put on [your] garment of flowers, as big as is Etna's plain. The girls of the country will be here, or the girls of the mountains, and [those] who [dwell in] woods and [those] who [dwell in] groves, and [those] who dwell in fountains. The mother of the winged Boy has ordered all [of them] to assist [her]. She has ordered the girls not to trust Love at all, even [when he is] naked.

Let him who has never loved love tomorrow, and let him who has loved love tomorrow! Behold! bulls now stretch their flanks under broom shrubs, each secure in the conjugal bond by which he is held. Under the shades, behold! [there are] flocks of ewes with [their] mates. And the goddess has ordered birds not to be silent. Now noisy swans with harsh-sounding voices fill the pools with a din. The young wife (lit., girl) of Tereus sings in accompaniment under the shade of a poplar, so that you would think feelings of love were being declared with [her] melodious voice, and [so that] you would not say that a sister was complaining about her barbarous husband. She sings, [but] I am silent. When is my spring coming? When will I become like a swallow, so that I cease to be silent? I have lost my Muse by being silent, and Apollo does not take notice of me. In this way silence destroyed Amyclae when it was silent.

Let him who has never loved love tomorrow, and let him who has loved love tomorrow!

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