Natalis

Natalis Iuno, sanctos cape turis acervos,
quos tibi dat tenera docta puella manu.
tota tibi est hodie, tibi se laetissima compsit,
staret ut ante tuos conspicienda focos.
illa quidem ornandi causas tibi, diva, relegat;
est tamen, occulte cui placuisse velit.
at tu, sancta, fave, neu quis divellat amantes,
sed iuveni quaeso mutua vincla para.
sic bene compones: ullae non ille puellae
servire aut cuiquam dignior illa viro.
nec possit cupidos vigilans deprendere custos
fallendique vias mille ministret Amor.
(Corpus Tibullianum 3.12)

Juno, birth-spirit, accept the sacred heaps of incense
that the learned girl’s gentle hand offers you.
She’s bathed for you, today, dressed herself so gladly,
to stand before your altar, visible to all.
She ascribes the cause to you, goddess, it’s true:
yet there’s one she secretly desires to please.
Then be gracious, sacred one, let no one separate
the lovers, but, I beg you, forge the same fetters for the boy.
You’ll do well to join them: there’s no girl he
might more fittingly serve, and no man her.
And may no wakeful guard surprise their passion,
and Love provide a thousand pathways of deceit.
(tr. Tony Kline)

 

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