Epithalamia for Adonis

P Sufenas Virius Lupus

Most fragrant Lord, sprung from the sap of Myrrh,
beautiful one protected by Persephone —
go now to the bridal chamber prepared for you!
May there be an end to weeping for all
on this day of your wedding to she
who is the finest of flesh that ever the eyes
of gods or mortals rested upon long or short.
Your strong arm has wielded spears and nets
on the hunt of hares and stags,
but put away those things for today,
heed not the call of the carved horn
of huntsmen, the baying of scent-hounds,
the hooves of horses bridled for the chase.
Let not the snarl and snort of acorn-eaters
in the depths of the forest detain you,
do not give your tender flesh as finest target
for the white wanton tusks of boars
in the fields and forests of far-off Lebanon.
She waits for you now, the foam-born one,
the lady of Kythera and Cyprus,
she who will be as beautiful
when she sinks below the waves as when she rose.
Your name will be sung and honored by all
who have felt the exquisite pain of love,
and you will yet live and be praised
to the very depths of the earth forever
for the lying down which you shall do today.


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