THE VIGIL of VENUS.
Written in the Time of JULIUS CAESAR, and by some ascrib'd to CATULLUS.
1 LET those love now, who never lov'd before,
2 Let those who always lov'd, now love the more.
3 The Spring, the new, the warb'ling Spring appears,
4 The youthful Season of reviving Years;
5 In Spring the Loves enkindle mutual Heats,
6 The feather'd Nation chuse their tuneful Mates,
7 The Trees grow fruitful with descending Rain
8 And drest in diff'ring Greens adorn the Plain. [Page 49]
9 She comes; to morrow Beauty's Empress roves
10 Thro' Walks that winding run within the Groves;
11 She twines the shooting Myrtle into Bow'rs,
12 And ties their meeting Tops with Wreaths of Flow'rs,
13 Then rais'd sublimely on her easy Throne
14 From Nature's pow'rful Dictates draws her own.
15 Let those love now; who never lov'd before,
16 Let those who always lov'd, now love the more.
17 'Twas on that Day which saw the teeming Flood
18 Swell round, impregnate with celestial Blood;
19 Wand'ring in Circles stood the finny Crew,
20 The midst was left a void Expanse of Blue,
21 There Parent Ocean work'd with heaving Throes,
22 And dropping wet the fair Dione rose.
23 Let those love now, who never lov'd before,
24 Let those who always lov'd, now love them more.
25 She paints the purple Year with vary'd show,
26 Tips the green Gem, and makes the Blossom glow.
27 She makes the turgid Buds receive the Breeze,
28 Expand to Leaves, and shade the naked Trees.
29 When gath'ring damps the misty Nights diffuse,
30 She sprinkles all the Morn with balmy Dews;
31 Bright trembling Pearls depend at ev'ry spray,
32 And kept from falling, seem to fall away.
33 A glossy Freshness hence the Rose receives,
34 And blushes sweet through all her silken Leaves;
35 (The Drops descending through the silent Night,
36 While Stars serenely roll their golden Light,)
37 Close 'till the Morn, her humid Veil she holds;
38 Then deckt with Virgin Pomp the Flow'r unsolds.
39 Soon will the Morning blush: Ye Maids! prepare,
40 In rosy Garlands bind your flowing Hair[Page 53]
41 'Tis Venus' Plant: The Blood fair Venus shed,
42 O'er the gay Beauty pour'd immortal Red;
43 From Love's soft Kiss a sweet Ambrosial Smell
44 Was taught for ever on the Leaves to dwell;
45 From Gemms, from Flames, from orient Rays of Light
46 The richest Lustre makes her Purple bright;
47 And she to morrow weds; the sporting Gale
48 Unties her Zone, she bursts the verdant Veil;
49 Thro' all her Sweets the rifling Lover flies,
50 And as he breaths, her glowing Fires arise.
51 Let those love now, who never lov'd before,
52 Let those who always lov'd, now love the more.
53 Now fair Dione to the Myrtle Grove
54 Sends the gay Nymphs, and sends her tender Love.
55 And shall they venture? is it safe to go?
56 While Nymphs have Hearts, and Cupid wears a Bow? [Page 55]
57 Yes safely venture, 'tis his Mother's Will;
58 He walks unarm'd and undesigning ill,
59 His Torch extinct, his Quiver useless hung,
60 His Arrows idle, and his Bow unstrung.
61 And yet, ye Nymphs, beware, his Eyes have Charms,
62 And Love that's naked, still is Love in Arms.
63 Let those love now, who never lov'd before,
64 Let those who always lov'd, now love the more.
65 From Venus Bow'r to Delia's Lodge repairs
66 A Virgin Train compleat with modest Airs:
67 'Chast Delia! grant our Suit! or shun the Wood,
68 ' Nor stain this sacred Lawn with savage Blood.
69 'Venus, O Delia! if she cou'd persuade,
70 ' Wou'd ask thy Presence, might she ask a Maid.
71 Here chearful Quires for three auspicious Nights
72 With Songs prolong the pleasurable Rites:[Page 57]
73 Here Crouds in Measures lightly-decent rove;
74 Or seek by Pairs the Covert of the Grove,
75 Where meeting Greens for Arbours arch above,
76 And mingling Flowrets strow the Scenes of Love.
77 Here dancing Ceres shakes her golden Sheaves:
78 Here Bacchus revels, deckt with viny Leaves:
79 Here Wit's enchanting God in Lawrel crown'd
80 Wakes all the ravish'd Hours with silver Sound.
81 Ye Fields, ye Forests, own Dione's Reign,
82 And Delia, Huntress Delia, shun the Plain.
83 Let those love now, who never lov'd before,
84 Let those who always lov'd, now love the more.
85 Gay with the Bloom of all her opening Year,
86 The Queen at Hybla bids her Throne appear;
87 And there presides; and there the fav'rite Band
88 (Her smiling Graces) share the great Command. [Page 59]
89 Now beauteous Hybla! dress thy flow'ry Beds
90 With all the Pride the lavish Season sheds,
91 Now all thy Colours, all thy Fragrance yield,
92 And rival Enna's Aromatick Field.
93 To fill the Presence of the gentle Court
94 From ev'ry Quarter rural Nymphs resort,
95 From Woods, from Mountains, from their humble Vales,
96 From Waters curling with the wanton Gales.
97 Pleas'd with the joyful Train, the laughing Queen
98 In Circles seats them round the Bank of green;
99 And 'lovely Girls, (she whispers) guard your Hearts;
100 ' My Boy, tho' stript of Arms, abounds in Arts.
101 Let those love now, who never lov'd before,
102 Let those who always lov'd, now love the more.
103 Let tender Grass in shaded Allys spread,
104 Let early Flow'rs erect their painted Head.
105 To morrow's Glory be to morrow seen,
106 That Day, old Ether wedded Earth in green.
107 The Vernal Father bid the Spring appear,
108 In Clouds he coupled to produce the Year,
109 The Sap descending o'er her Bosom ran,
110 And all the various sorts of Soul began.
111 By Wheels unknown to Sight, by secret Veins
112 Distilling Life, the fruitful Goddess reigns,
113 Through all the lovely Realms of native Day,
114 Through all the circled Land, and circling Sea;
115 With fertil Seed she fill'd the pervious Earth,
116 And ever fix'd the mystick Ways of Birth.
117 Let those love now, who never lov'd before,
118 Let those who always lov'd, now love the more.
119 'Twas she the Parent, to the Latian Shore
120 Through various Dangers Troy's Remainder bore.
121 She won Lavinia for her warlike Son,
122 And winning her, the Latian Empire won.
123 She gave to Mars the Maid, whose honour'd Womb
124 Swell'd with the Founder of immortal Rome.
125 Decoy'd by Shows the Sabin Dames she led,
126 And taught our vig'rous Youth the Means to wed.
127 Hence sprung the Romans, hence the Race divine
128 Thro' which great Caesar draws his Julian Line.
129 Let those love now, who never lov'd before,
130 Let those who always lov'd, now love the more.
131 In rural Seats the Soul of Pleasure reigns;
132 The Life of Beauty fills the rural Scenes;
133 Ev'n Love (if Fame the Truth of Love declare)
134 Drew first the breathings of a rural Air. [Page 65]
135 Some pleasing Meadow pregnant Beauty prest,
136 She laid her Infant on its flow'ry Breast,
137 From Nature's Sweets he sipp'd the fragrant Dew,
138 He smil'd, he kiss'd them, and by kissing grew.
139 Let those love now, who never lov'd before,
140 Let those who always lov'd, now love the more.
141 Now Bulls o'er Stalks of Broom extend their Sides,
142 Secure of Favours from their lowing Brides.
143 Now stately Rams their fleecy Consorts lead,
144 Who bleating follow thro' the wand'ring Shade.
145 And now the Goddess bids the Birds appear,
146 Raise all their Musick, and salute the Year:
147 Then deep the Swan begins, and deep the Song
148 Runs o'er the Water where he sails along;
149 While Philomela tunes a treble Strain,
150 And from the Poplar charms the list'ning Plain. [Page 67]
151 We fancy Love exprest at ev'ry Note,
152 It melts, it warbles, in her liquid Throat.
153 Of barb'rous Tereus she complains no more,
154 But sings for Pleasure as for Grief before.
155 And still her Graces rise, her Airs extend,
156 And all is Silence 'till the Syren end.
157 How long in coming is my lovely Spring?
158 And when shall I, and when the Swallow sing?
159 Sweet Philomela cease, — Or here I sit,
160 And silent lose my rapt'rous Hour of Wit:
161 'Tis gone, the Fit retires, the Flames decay,
162 My tuneful Phoebus flies averse away.
163 His own Amycle thus, as Stories run,
164 But once was silent, and that once undone.
165 Let those love now, who never lov'd before,
166 Let those who always lov'd, now love the more.