dumque intermixti captatur spiritus oris, 20carmine doctiloquo Vulcani vincla parate, quae Martem nectant Veneris nec bracchia laedant inter delicias roseo prope livida serto. namque ferunt Paphien, Vulcani et Martis amorem, inter adulterium nec iusti iura mariti 25indice sub Phoebo captam gessisse catenas. illa manu duros nexus tulit, illa mariti ferrea vincla sui. quae vis fuit ista doloris? an fortem faciebat amor? quid, saeve, laboras? cur nodos Veneri Cyclopia flamma paravit? 30de roseis conecte manus, Vulcane, catenis! nec tu deinde liges, sed blandus vincla Cupido, ne palmas duro nodus cum vulnere laedat. lucus erat Marti gratus, post vulnera Adonis pictus amore deae; si Phoebi lumina desint, 35tutus adulterio, dignus quem Cypris amaret, quem Byblos coleret, dignus quem Gratia servet.
- 22divitias S: delicias Burman. prope S: modo Baehrens.
- 26manus S: manu Schrader: Venus Baehrens.
- 32comodus S: nodus cum Baehrens, alii alia.
- 34pictus S: dictus vel lectus vel dignus Wernsdorf: huius Baehrens: laetus Riese (in not.).
of their being, and while they woo the breath of intermingled kisses, do ye with dulcet strain make ready Vulcan’s bonds to twine round Mars and yet do no hurt to Venus’ arms that mid their dalliance are half-discoloured with the pressure of even a garland of roses. a
The tale is told that the Paphian goddess, darling of Vulcan and of Mars, amid her adulterous intercourse and rights usurped by one not her lawful husband, was ‘neath the revealing Sun-god caught, and wore the chains. She bore on her hand the cruel coils, she bore the iron bonds of her own husband. What was that violence in your resentment? b Did love make strength? c Why toil, O ruthless one? Why did the flame of the Giants’ forge prepare entanglements for Venus? Rather, Vulcan, make the linking for the hands from chains of roses! And then you must not tie the bonds, but coaxing Cupid must, lest the knotting hurt the palms and inflict harsh pain.
There was a grove dear to Mars, adorned d by the goddess’ love after Adonis’ death-wound; if only sunlight were lacking, safe for unlawful passion, meet for the Cyprian’s affection, meet for worship from Byblos, e meet for the regard of one of the Graces. f
- a i.e. arms so delicate that rose-leaves might almost make them black and blue.
- bAddressed to Vulcan as the injured husband of Venus.
- c i.e. to fashion iron chains.
- dAfter the death of her beloved Adonis from a wound inflicted by a boar in the forest, Venus might be imagined to dislike all woods. The passage implies that she made an exception in the case of the grove where she met her lover Mars, and so it is “decorated,” “lit up” by the beautiful presence of the enamoured goddess. pictus may be right, though amore is less directly instrumental than the concrete ablatives in Lucr. V. 1395-1396, anni tempora pingebant viridantes floribus herbas; Sen. Med. 310, stellisque quibus pingitur aether; Pentadius, De Adventu Veris, line 11, floribus innumeris pingit sola flatus Eoi: cf. Lucr. II. 374-5, concharum genus . . . videmus pingere telluris gremium. The metaphorical use seems a not unnatural extension from the idea of pingunt in 38, or in sic mea flaventem pingunt vineta Garumnam (of vineyards throwing their green reflection on the yellow Garonne), Auson. Mosella 160, or in quis te naturae pinxit color? ib. 110.
- eThis Phoenician coast-town was the chief seat of the worship of Adonis: cf. 66 and Bybliades, 90.
- f Cf. line 51. The singular is used in Ovid. Met. VI. 429.