Non pronuba Iuno,
non Hymenaeus adest, non illi Gratia lecto:
Eumenides tenuere faces de funere raptas,
Eumenides stravere torum, tectoque profanus
incubuit bubo thalamique in culmine sedit.
hac ave coniuncti Procne Tereusque, parentes
hac ave sunt facti; gratata est scilicet illis
Thracia, disque ipsi grates egere; diemque,
quaque data est claro Pandione nata tyranno
quaque erat ortus Itys, festum iussere vocari:
usque adeo latet utilitas.
(Ovid, Met. 6.428-438)
But neither Juno, who presides
at weddings, nor the wedding god himself,
Hymenaeus, nor the required Graces
attended theirs. Instead, the Furies shook
the torches they had snatched from funerals,
and turned down the coverlet upon their bed;
and all night long, an evil owl perched
and brooded on the roof of their bedchamber.
Under these omens, Tereus and Procne
are wed; and under them, their child is born;
and naturally all of Thrace is one
in its felicitations to the parents,
who offer up their own thanks to the gods.
That day is now proclaimed a festival
on which the king of Athens gave his daughter
to the distinguished ruler, and the day
as well on which Itys, their son, was born.
What does us good is to a great extent
concealed from us.
(tr. Charles Martin)