The Night Watch of Venus

Spanish

Translated from Latin to English by David Camden

Let him love tomorrow who has never loved and let he who has loved love tomorrow.

New spring, singing spring! The world is born in spring!
Loves harmonize in spring, birds marry in spring,
And the forest releases a marriage shower of leaves.
Tomorrow the union of loves among arboreal shades
interweaves lively youths in a cottage with her myrtle vine:
Tomorrow Dione, propped upon her lofty throne, declares the laws.

Let him love tomorrow who has never loved and let he who has loved love tomorrow.

Then a sea of celestial blood in a foaming circle,
Between cerulean crowds and biped horses,
Gives birth to Dione, shaking the waves of a husbandís rainstorm.

Let him love tomorrow who has never loved and let he who has loved love tomorrow.

She paints the year purple with flowery buds,
She presses her nipples rising from the breath of Favonius
Hard onto the warm bed, she of the shining dew,
Which left the air at night, scatters the moist drops.
Behold! They quiver like tears trembling from an old pain:
The falling drop delays its descent in a small circle.
Behold! The floral purples revealed its modesty:
That moisture, which the stars distill as dew in calm nights,
At dawn freed her maidenly nipples from the moist robe.
She commands that, with the dawn, the humid roses marry maidens,
Born of Cypriot blood, and of breezes, and of the purples of the Sun.
Blush, which lay hidden veiled under a garment of fire,
Married only in vow, she will not be ashamed to display tomorrow.

Let him love tomorrow who has never loved and let he who has loved love tomorrow.

The goddess commanded the Nymphs to go to the sacred myrtle grove:
The boy accompanies them: but one cannot believe that
Love is resing if he brought his arrows.
Go, Nymphs! He laid down his arms, Love is resting!
He was ordered to go unarmed, bare he was ordered to go,
Neither with bow, nor arrow, nor fire to hurt.
But nevertheless, Nymphs, beware, because Cupid is beautiful:
Even naked, it is the same Love, always in arms.

Let him love tomorrow who has never loved and let he who has loved love tomorrow.

Venus sends maidens of equal modesty to you.
We request only one thing: grant, maiden Delia,
That your grove not be covered with blood from fierce slaughters.
She herself wanted to ask you, if she could persuade a chaste woman,
She herself wanted you to come, if it were fitting for a virgin.
In three nights you would have to see the festive choirs†
Intermingled in groups to go through your forests,
Between crowns of flowers, between cottages of myrtle.
Neither Ceres nor Bacchus is absent, nor is the god of poets.
The whole night will have to be stopped and guarded with songs.
May Dione reign in the forests! Withdraw, Delia!

Let him love tomorrow who has never loved and let he who has loved love tomorrow.

The goddess ordered the court to stand with Hyblan flowers;
The chief herself will say her laws, the Graces will attend.
Hybla, scatter the flowers, whatever the year brought;
Hybla, obtain a floral dress, how great is the plain of Etna.
From the fields and the springs the girls will come here,
Whoever the forests, whoever the lakes, whoever the mounts inhabits.
The mother of the winged boy commanded all to attend,
And she commanded the girls to never trust Love, even naked.

Let him love tomorrow who has never loved and let he who has loved love tomorrow.

And may green shades be led with newborn flowers.
It will be tomorrow when Aether has contracted nuptials for the first time,
To create the year with spring clouds all,
The father, as a marital storm, fertilized the lap of his nurturing wife,
Where the fruit developed in great body would nourish everything.
Venus, in heart and mind, with her pervading spirit,
Governs inside, procreator of hidden forces,
And through earth, sky, and sea
She established a course for the seminal route
And she ordered the world to know of the birth.

Let him love tomorrow who has never loved and let he who has loved love tomorrow.

She herself turned her Trojan sons into Latins:
She herself gave her son a Laurentine girl as a wife,
And soon to Mars she gives the chaste maiden of the sanctuary:
She herself made the Romulean marriages with the Sabines,
Whence came the Ramnes and Quirites, and for the race of Romulus†
She would create their descendant, Caesar.

Let him love tomorrow who has never loved and let he who has loved love tomorrow.

Passion fertilizes the fields, the countryside feels Venus;
Love himself, son of Dione, was born in the country.
This one, while the field gives birth, she received in her lap:
She herself nourished him with delicate kisses of flowers.

Let him love tomorrow who has never loved and let he who has loved love tomorrow.

Behold now that sheep tend their bodies under Spanish broom,
Each is protected by the conjugal bind that holds them.
Behold the flocks bleeting with their husbands in the shade:
And the goddess commanded the songbirds not to be quiet.
Already the loquacious ones of hoarse voice, the swans, resonate in the pools:
In the shade of a poplar, the wife of Tereus responds to them,
So that you think that the pains of love are counted with musical voice,
And† you deny that she laments her sister with a cruel husband.
She sings, we are silent. When does my spring come?
When will I become as a wanderer, so that I may cease my silence?
I destroyed the Muse by being silent, not even Phoebus looks back at me.
Thus like Amyclas, when they were silent, silence was lost.

FORUM ROMANUM