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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Erotica Romana, by Johann Wolfgang Goethe #38 in our series by Johann Wolfgang Goethe

Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook. This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do not change or edit the header without written permission. Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can also find out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved. **Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts** **eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971** *****These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!***** Title: Erotica Romana Author: Johann Wolfgang Goethe Release Date: April, 2005 [EBook #7889] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on May 31, 2003] Edition: 10 Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-Latin-1 *** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK EROTICA ROMANA ***

Produced by Harry Haile and Mike Pullen

EROTICA ROMANA Johann Wolfgang Goethe

I Here's where I've planted my garden and here I shall care for love's blossoms--

As I am taught by my muse, carefully sort them in plots: Fertile branches, whose product is golden fruit of my lifetime, Set here in happier years, tended with pleasure today. You, stand here at my side, good Priapus--albeit from thieves I've Nothing to fear. Freely pluck, whosoever would eat. --Hypocrites, those are the ones! If weakened with shame and bad conscience One of those criminals comes, squinting out over my garden, Bridling at nature's pure fruit, punish the knave in his hindparts, Using the stake which so red rises there at your loins. II Tell me ye stones and give me O glorious palaces answer. Speak O ye streets but one word. Genius, art thou alive? Yes, here within thy sanctified walls there's a soul in each object, ROMA eternal. For me, only, are all things yet mute. Who will then tell me in whispers and where must I find just the window Where one day she'll be glimpsed: creature who'll scorch me with love? Can't I divine yet the paths through which over and over To her and from her I'll go, squandering valuable time? Visiting churches and palaces, all of the ruins and the pillars, I, a responsible man, profit from making this trip. With my business accomplished, ah, then shall only one temple, AMOR's temple alone, take the initiate in. Rome, thou art a whole world, it is true, and yet without love this World would not be the world, Rome would cease to be Rome. III More than ever I dreamed, I have found it: my happy good fortune! Cupid sagaciously led past those palazzos so fine. He of course knows very well (and I have also discovered) What, beneath tapestries rich, gilded boudoirs conceal.

playfully up to her bed. if he's to learn how she feels? I encounter no troubles like those. Jupiter's welcome to more from his Juno if he can get it. ardent seeker and guide. wanton boy--but I know you.One may if one wishes call him a blind. too well! O. At but a lover's mere touch. balls. tumbles in folds to the floor. IV Ask whomever you will but you'll never find out where I'm lodging. --Isn't that heaven on earth? Say. balcony high and gallant. Hastening onward until an humble but exquisite portal Offered a refuge to both. Quickly he carries the girl as she's clad in chemise of coarse linen-Just as a nursemaid might. Somber cortilé we passed. Doesn't he want her to be free from all brooches and chains? Must not the jewelry. operas. Large is this room where the bed offers its comfort for two. Finery. Let any mortal find rest. wherever he can. Nipotina. Here he provides me with ev'rything. incorruptible god! We were by no means inveigled to enter façades so majestic. Simple dress of rough homespun. We are content with Cupid's delights. authentic and naked-And with the exquisite creak /crack of the bed as it rocks. and then the lace and the bustles and whalebone All of it come off entire. Clever Cupid. Does one not lift a Gown of the finest brocade just as one lifts common wool? If she's to press in comfort a lover against that soft bosom. haughtiness do not entice me. Each day that passes he spreads freshly plucked roses for me. promenades down the Corso? These but deprive my sweet boy of his most opportune times. sees that I get what I call for. softer. beautiful Lady Borghese. what yours? Banquets and game tables. the mattress is quite unembroidered. What would you give to me more? --You. Drapings of satin are absent. .

Who beyond mountains and snow. dwelt in a house made of wood. Some do but scratch us: Slow and insidious these poison our hearts over years. All of the way into Naples and then. was indulged. Arrows of Cupid work divers effects. inflame rapidly there our blood. beloved. in Idean grove. "Marlborough" sung in the port. "Tell me. follows the Englishman's travels Down to Livorno from France. V Do not. Yet his despondent ghost couldn't have sought worse revenge. insolent thoughts about you. Anchises caught her eye. oh where did she live. That's the way "Marlborough. is all she could tell you. Yet with a head freshly honed and cunningly fledged. footloose and lusty. ladies so groomed and refined. with no delay. why then I 'd have murdered poor Werther. should he flee on to Madras. regret that you yielded to me so quickly: I entertain no base. and my mistress knows Werther and Lotte Not a whit better than who might be this man in her bed: That he's a foreigner. Surely you don't think the goddess of love lost a moment reflecting When. Werther's only true love?" How many times have I cursed those frivolous pages that broadcast Out among all mankind passions I felt in my youth! Were he my brother. certain others Pierce to the marrow. At the loud banquet Hero regarded Leander--then promptly .High society's lords. When gods and goddesses in days of heroes made love. Nor did Luna delay about kissing that beautiful dreamer-Jealous Aurora had else hastily wakened the lad. thence from Livorno to Rome. was Werther authentic? Did all of that happen in real life?" "Lotte." the ditty. then Lust followed look and desire. Happily now I've escaped. "Marlborough" will surely be there.

Eagerly yields herself up to the quick. came down to the Tiber Just to fetch water. Or from the marble a Greek. black and austere out of primeval basalt. strewn for just one of their host). even Zeus' punishment sooner we'd dare-Under that rock. ardently swam toward his love. over the whole world. . In metamorphoses they've many a hero deceived. form them charming and white-Yet the eternal ones do not object to particularism (Incense of most precious sort. she's flown. a god seized her and that is the way Mars begat himself sons. Discreetly we worship all powers. or bound to a tumbling wheel we'd endure it-Than we'd withdraw our hearts from the delights of her cult. Mischievous celebrants we at these mysteries gay. So now the daughter beguiles the naive and bedazzles the foolish. Rather onto our heels by horrible deeds the Erinyes We would allure. He discovers she's tame. princess and virgin. Daughter of Proteus might well she be whom he sired upon Thetis. ye victorious Romans. Teases you while you're asleep. that is her name. in this: for we offer Gods of all peoples and tribes. we lovers. when you awaken. a home-May the Egyptian. VI We are so pious. playful and tender and sweet. Hoping for favor from each god and each goddess as well.Into dark waters he plunged. Sweet Opportunity. You should meet her. Today a proud Rome claims to be queen of the world. When Rhea Silvia. Therefore we gladly confess to singling a special immortal And our devotions each day pledging but solely to her. to the active man only. ever in a new form. Often will she turn up. a pair of twins whom a she wolf Suckled. and so solemn: Silence exactly befits rites at which we're adepts. We are like you.

When she dashed by me I seized her. She in the nighttime hours gives compensation in full. knowing and teaching me how. Throughout the night. I leaf through the works of the Ancients With an assiduous hand. deprives me of moments of daylight. But. Up from the crown of her head crinkled the unbraided hair. In her embrace--it's by no means unusual--I've composed poems And the hexameter's beat gently tapped out on her back. feel with a hand that sees. still I'm entrammled in you. Air from deep in her breast penetrates mine and there burns.Once she appeared to me. O how enraptured I was! Ah. Cupid. Voices from present and past speak here evocatively. It's a bygone. while stirring the flame in our lamp. no doubt thinks of those days when For the triumvirs he similar service performed. Daily the pleasure's renewed. And we do more than just kiss. rapture is doubled that way. See with an eye that feels. Do then I not become wise when I trace with my eye her sweet bosom's Form. too: a dark-skinned girl. As I reflect and compare. O pigtails of Rome. I grant it. Fingertips counting in time with the sweet rhythmic breath of her slumber. my first understanding of marble. Lovingly Kiss and embrace she returned. in a different way. Heeding ancient advice. I'm kept busy by Cupid-If erudition is halved. and the line of her hips stroke with my hand? I acquire. we prosecute reasoned discussions (Should she succumb to sleep. . say now no more. While my beloved. VII Happily now on classical soil I feel inspiration. tumbling Over her forehead the hair down in waves heavy and dark. that gives me time for my thoughts). Round about a delicate neck curled short little ringlets. mistaking her not.

Bear it I must when the gossips bring forth accusations: I'm guilty-Or am I not? But. We. Father was right. who is my prelate but you? Never. Here I stand in the end being cheated and scolded. Unworthy of women are men. who carry your children Next to our hearts. Quattro Fontani next time. Falconier ogled me often enough. kisses it. They're your excuse to escape. The seducers Noted it well. tears in her eyes. bitterly when they're in love. hair all rounded behind? Who was it chose that gray monk if not you? Well then a prelate Now is my lover--Ah. I was sufficiently poor. sad to say. who but the very same girl who Hated with all of her heart stockings both violet and red. Did you not thoughtlessly visit me in the disguise of a cleric. alas. when you've poured out your potency in our embraces And your desires dissipate. As for you men. all of my guilt was with you. I was young. I'm now so very ashamed of myself for having permitted . You don't believe your own words.VIII "Can you be cruel enough to sadden me thus with reproaches? Germans speak. Clothes that you've given bear witness for envious neighbors That the poor widow no more grieves for her husband alone. Muffled all up in a cloak. too. then. I suppose. Go. One of the pimps for Albani with billets doux very impressive Called me to Ostia once.' So said my father although--Mother was not much impressed. my beloved Presses it close to her heart. For: 'In the end you poor girls are the ones who are sure to be cheated. in these hearts loyalty we bear you. love with them passes away. and taking her child from its chair. Who was it did not appear there? Why. incredible as it may sound in this clerical city. Has any cleric brought me--swear it I will--to his bed." These things expressed.

clear are his colors by day. Water dashed on the coals suddenly smothers their glow. I lie here extending my arms toward your knees. an unsatisfied spirit. Father. Jupiter. I brooded. as guest--me. formless. Sends up a flame that anew bright and more powerful gleams. brighter than northern sun. 'Twas she led to this sacred hill. Rapidly then renewed heat overcomes those lowering vapors. is not . Over my head there the heavens weighed down so dismal and gloomy. Phoebus the god evokes forms. And the glow of the moon. I am praying: Hospitality's god. yield to each passing whim? You. Spying out pathways dark. IX How very happy I am here in Rome when I think of the bad days Far back there in the north.Gossip of neighbors to spoil picture so eloquent. lost in dreary reflection. ringing with songs that are tender. your daughter. that world round this exhausted man lay. to ambrosial halls? See. After the manner of girls. Then forgive. wrapped in a grayish light. come to your senses!"--Forgive me. Here in an æther more clear now a luster encircles my forehead. "Poet. Bright with the stars comes the evening. when strewing her glorious presents. What blessedness mortals may know! Am I now dreaming? Or welcomes Jupiter. will by no means now banish a stranger From your Olympian heights back to the base earth again. Seeking myself in myself. Jupiter Xenius! Hear: How I am come to this place I no longer can say--I was Seized up by Hebe. Let her mistake profit me! Does not Fortuna. Colorless. For a short moment a fire may burn darkly while smoke swirls about it. Did you command her a hero to seek and deliver before you ? May be she erred. O hospitable god.

She will be back and new faggots as well as big logs will be blazing. Caesar and Henry and Fredrick. Making a festival where lovers will warm up the night. Cupid has lent to her above others the gift of cajoling Up from the ashes desire. just when slumber's begun. ye living. Gladly would share with me half of their hard fought renown. XI Kindling autumnal fire in a rustic. Before all my tinder Dies away into coals. Until cold Lethe anoints. . Although the fruit when it's ripe pleases both mankind and gods. officious. XII All of those greats: Alexander. Also the blossoms on grapevines are wanting in shape and in color. coals then to ashes decline.Rome's Capitoline Hill second Olympus to you? Suffer me. X When you were small. you say. developing quietly over the years. Then in the morning. convivial fireplace (How the sticks crackle and spew flames and glittering sparks!) Strikes me especially pleasant this evening. neither did others consider you f air. rejoice that love keeps you warm for a while yet. she'll leave the bed of her lover. Therefore. captures your foot in its flight. here and let Hermes guide me at last then Past Cestius' Tomb gently to Orkus below. Could I but grant them my bed for one single night. I Picture you to myself as an unusual child. nor Even your mother find praise--and I believe it-Till you grew bigger. Rouse adroitly the flames out from their ashes anew. Jupiter. But the poor wretches are held stark in cold Orkian grip. and its comfort.

symbol of all that is pure. Cythera sends glances Bathed in sweetest desire--even in marble they're damp. she seems to be asking Shouldn't our glorious son here at our side stand erect? XIV Can't you hear voices. the sensuous dreamer. Festivals no longer celebrate Ceres. though tender as well. O ye graces. Have you by any chance heard how that mystical. out on the Via Flamina? Reapers are now going home. Offered in confidence. when they are two in love). shaking his curly head. They had journeyed to Rome from afar. roguish. buds of the rose beside. and only to Greeks they proclaimed it Even within Roman walls: "Come to the sanctified night. Artists enjoy ateliers which are furnished So as to make for a space Pantheon-like in decor: Jupiter lowers that godly brow while his Juno looks upward. just a few leaves by a poet Onto your pure altar laid. Then the initiates must aimlessly wander about through the eerie Circles of figures as if pilgriming through their own dreams. While phlegmatic Minerva peers down on us. Thinking about his embrace and its pleasures. Phoebus takes forward strides. neophytes trembled. Let us commemorate her then ourselves in festival private (Two constitute a whole tribe. beloved. . the nourishing goddess Who replaced acorns of old. strange celebration Followed victorious troops back from Eleusis to Rome? Greeks were the ones who began it.XIII They are for you." Those who were not of the cult kept their distance. and here plaited for Ceres Wreaths which the Romans today scorn to make for themselves. giving man golden wheat. frivolous Hermes Seems to be looking askance. Waiting in garments of white. back from harvesting grain. But it's to Bacchus.

heavy her bounteous fields. Surely the gestures of murmuring priests must contain some deep meaning-Impatient acolytes wait. having followed this tale. Here's what the hypocrite said: "Trust me just once more. goddess. do you comprehend? See there the sacred shade beneath that bushy-boughed myrtle? Our satisfaction will there scarcely endanger a world. XV Cupid is always a scoundrel. richly wreathéd with grain. dalliance offered in love. sensing each hallowéd space. she granted Of her immortal self hidden sweet parts to explore. this time. secretive image concealed. . Cultivated your eye. Turned and beckoned their loves--love. Every traveller I've ever known has complained of poor treatment: He whom I recommend treatment delicious receives. all astonished. It was to Jason. Not until after many a testing and trial did they discover What. You've now regarded with awe all the structures which lie here in ruins. Derelict of her true task. I have followed you hither to Rome. powerful king of the Cretans. I have the best of intentions toward you who have now dedicated-I recognize it with thanks--life and writings to me. it languished away. anxiously hoping for light.Snakes on the ground were writhing about. What was this mystery other than this: that Demeter. As for the rest of the world. and I'd like to do something Here in this far away land pleasing to such an old friend. within sacred ring. Once upon a time had to a hero been kind. That made the fortune of Crete! The marital bed of the goddess Soon grew pregnant with grain. --Now the initiate youths. Now virgins came bearing Caskets securely locked. while Ceres. and if you believe him he'll cheat you. Lo.

awakening me at His festive altar again. potency. presence of mind. Pressing my arm as it's bent. giving kisses. Could I contradict him? I am wont to obey. Wisdom that comes with old age pleases me not. your service to me having slackened? Where is invention's glow now? Where is the color all gone? Friend. years have not closed them to you. Hymns of such sort pass away. Goddess of morning. too: in it antiquity lives. do you hope you can create again? --The school of the Ancients Yet remains open. Treacherous now he is keeping his word: giving me themes for my poems While he is stealing my time. As for a style truly grand. and as teacher I still love the young ones. wanting prosodical tact. while her head rests. love can alone give you that. where I must celebrate him? Here on my breast flows her hair.How you've revered the formative will of those ancient artists! In their own ateliers often I''ve visited them. Listen here: Wasn't antiquity young when those fortunate Ancients were living? Happy then be your life. an abundance of curls. when my commander decrees. Where will you find a fit theme for your song? --It is I must provide it. Aurora. Murmuring our conversations we stutter in sweet oratory. Its gates. As for their works. why. exchanging Syllables sweet and those words lovers alone understand. as friend of my muse I once knew you. I formed those myself--now this time I'm boasting Not. holding hands. Has the unprincipled god. if only these few tranquil moments Could in my memory fix firmly that image of joy ." All of these claims that sophist asserted. Oh come now. I am eternally young. Where are your own creations. Gazing into her eyes. so as to pillow her neck. What a delicious condition. Cupid. seduced you now too? So that these mornings you come as his sweetheart. admit what I am saying is true.

as she goes leaving her hand in my hand. They're inebriation." Wretched young fellow. Don't waste your oil and the wick. they no longer now depredate our Flocks and meadows and woods. fields of golden grain. . Only returning desire knows oscillation or change. they rob me All too soon of the joy quiet reflection affords. Only the houses are blocking the sun there. Don't close the shutters so soon. Until the curfew shall ring. harbinger warm of the night. leave her. Had Ariadne lain thus. Love in our hearts makes us one. venomous once. the other the Hydra of Lerna. Theseus never had fled. Grand are the forms of this body and nobly positioned each member. Fire-breathing. O Theseus. hated in all of the world: Python the one. "But dear master. it's not yet the mountains. console me till then. Lamplight. From my side turns. as the genuine need there stays constant. Gently her hand presses mine. These monsters Both have now been destroyed. there's light in the sky yet.When the night rocked us to sleep--but in slumber she's moving away now. Look at her eyes--she's awake! Now you're eternally bound. XVII Poets of old in chorus cried out against those two serpents. be gone and obey me! My loved one is coming. won't you light me a lamp. How is it then that some spiteful god in his wrath has Raised from the poisonous slime offspring so monstrous again? There's an insidious viper creeps into the loveliest gardens. Let my thoughts rest on your form! Please close your eyes. confusion. XVI Boy. thanks to the deeds of the gods. Making them horrible names. now she opens her eyes and is looking Into my own eyes. full half an hour must pass. No--don't. Only a single kiss for these lips and then.

I call you courageous and forthright. Matrimonial bed's insecure and so's fornication. Noble Hesperian dragon. Happy Lucretius knew how in his day to forego love completely. but she did find you whole. where he befouls the sweet wellsprings. till they deserve no defense. and though of its pillars . for his presence Sullies both garden and fruit. Nowhere can feminine lap safely encouch a man's head. Although his father's temple be fallen. Fearing not to enjoy pleasure in anyone's arms.Lying in wait to attack all who seek pleasure therein. for you a slave fetched the girls down From the Aventine Hill. It was important to him to find thresholds of temples so sacred Pure when. Boldly defending your own beautiful apples of gold. Propertius. Even the woman we love may afford us uncertain enjoyment. As for this worm. Husband. the healing god. Think of those ages of gold when Jupiter followed his urges. Who would today dare attempt to escape from fidelity's ennui? Love does not hold one back--only concern for one's health. turned to Semel the next. Secretly coiled beneath bushes. it's true. Everyone knows him and ought to adore him. why he is not guarding at all. he sought powerful entry to them. Quick and assiduous. Herald of Zeus: Hermes. Cynthia then. enamoured. when driving you out of such unchaste embraces. Chose Callisto one day. from Tarpeia's grove. Can you imagine the ragings of Juno if in love's skirmish Poisonous weapons on her by her own spouse had been turned? But we neo-pagans may not after all be abandoned entirely: Yet there is speeding a god mercifully over the earth. Found you unfaithful. Turning to poisonous drool Cupid's lifegiving dew. Fortunate Ancient. lover and wife pass to each other the hurt.

Speaks just a little more loudly than women in Rome are accustomed. finding a seat for herself Next to her mother where. Cupid will hold out his hand: O.Scarcely a pair yet records ancient glory adored. frequently shifting her bench. . aptly by those here in Rome. Only one favor I beg of you. Graces (I ask it in secret-Fervent my prayer and deep. and entrusting myself to the rascal. Fogs of the dreary north remain a more baleful remembrance Than in the kitchens of Rome tribes of assiduous fleas. tavernas. as soon as I've seen. so that she can have me. She is of course well aware That I am watching. out of a passionate breast): My little garden. and forever Will there the ardent requests alternate with the thanks. Quickly. I'll remember you even more kindly. Significant glance as she pours--misses the glass with the wine So that it spills on the table. I beg you please may I Do so in pleasure with no danger or worry or fear. Here's where I sat at a table surrounded by good-natured Germans. Nevertheless the son's place of worship still stands. Over on that side the girl. XVIII I cannot think I'd have gone with Julius Caesar to Britain. To the Popina right here. with a virgule before. After today. You osterias. protect it and do not let any Evil come near it nor me. and she with a delicate finger Over its surface can draw circles in damp arabesque: Her name entwining in mine. as you are called. my sweet one. so finally makes the V of the Roman Five. That was the place I encountered my mistress today with the uncle Whom she so often deceives. Florus would tug me with ease. while my eyes most eagerly follow All that her fingertip writes. she arranged Nicely for me to perceive profile and curve of her neck.

on noble façades and Cupolas. then another four hours of waiting. taking great care. May the Parcæ Spin the fine thread of my life slowly. contemplating Rome: Greater never you've nor shall you in future see greater Than Rome. as your priest. perhaps. Come view all the sooner tomorrow That which. my dear muses. O but come rushing the moment my love designated so sweetly. You watched a world being born here. And from those ruins yet arise world again greater. again you've beguiled the monotony for me. eagerly filling his eyes. . pillars. and--last--up at the obelisks. O sun. watched the same world sink to ruin. O may I long by your light now behold this Rome. reducing them all to ornatest Patterns--but still the sweet IV stood as engraved in my eye. while descending. for centuries now. Then Hastily plunge to the ocean. who tarries on high. but I heard at least three.She interlaces the circles. First were but few simple dwellings here. --Sun. Onto this spot they assembled such plunder. Go seek other realms beneath heaven. partly from stifled desire: Such a long time until dark. suddenly sunlight discovered Nations enlivening hills teeming with fortunate thieves. gods have let you enjoy: Italy's shoreline so long overgrown with moist reeds. Thus. Please do the poet a favor and shorten the glorious hours Which the painter devours. I sat there mutely and biting my passionate lips almost bloody Half from delight at the ruse. Tarry no longer today. Sooner depart and leave Rome's seven famed hills to me. Wonderful! Sound already the chimes? --No. Cast now but one ardent glance. enraptured foretold. Of this long interval while I was apart from my love. elevations Somberly rising to shades cast by the bushes and trees. in your eye so splendid All earth's remaining orb scarcely was worthy of note. Horace.

when I hear the dog barking I think my beloved is coming-Or I remember the time. XXI I can tell not only about a discomfort far greater than others. now that. now his wish is fulfilled. and take pleasure in listening To the loud howl of the dog raised from a pup next door. looking now this way. though you're proud. Reeds and some discarded garments all hastily cobbled together-I helped to make it myself: diligent in my own grief. The old gardner's most dissolute crow has Left on this day unscathed nice little garden and niece. I had almost arrived when I saw. you'll concede: Cupid in my heart comes first. Stealthily I slipped away. "Dear." XX While there is many an unpleasant sound. Now. what a misapprehension! You saw the scarecrow. long I awaited you there. Bellowing dogs split my ears. when long awaited she came. XIX Why did you fail to appear at the cot in the vineyard today. Nothing else drove you away. I hate to hear barking Worse than anything else. your uncle Standing right there by the vines. farewell! I'll be going now--don't be offended. For. "Well. But it's a horror to fear on the pathways of love you'll discover ." --Alas. That is the dog that so bayed one time at my girl that he almost Gave our secret away (when she was visiting me). I confess it: Great displeasure I take lying alone in my bed. Nevertheless I do like to hear. that's all.All of you now. Love? As I had promised I would. But of a horror besides. thinking of which will arouse Every fiber in me to revulsion. My friends. by good fortune.

The Lady Fame has an ancient foe: Cupid. Yelling with brassiest voice orders to great and to small. That's why Faustina as my companion in bed makes me happy: Loving she always remains faithful." cried she in triumph. Oh. in her arrogance even maintained that she had subjected To her own will. Quirites. "One of these days. quite unendurable. hissing disease may approach. O father of deities. We listen. I think--Let me just tell it again. be vouchsafed all of mankind by the god. of all pleasures on earth the First and the last. to the storm. as I am to her. Young men are aroused in their passions by obstacles and by excitement. Jove's most illustrious son. savoring pleasures secure. by the way. have you heard of the cause of their mutual hatred? It's an old story. our partner's own life? That is the way our long nights of enjoyment are passed. to uphold one's respectable name is not easy. when I'm yielding to pleasure so fully. I prefer to go slow. and may this. carefree. Is it not bliss to exchange tender kisses containing no dangers. Don't think that Hercules be still that boy whom Alcmene once bore you. as her slave. my master and lord. Powerful ever the goddess. but nevertheless to her fellows Overbearing and rude. pouring down rain in the wind Morning begins to dawn.Snakes and their venom beneath roses of eager desire-That at the moment supreme. Once. Right at my head as it droops. as if new born. "I shall be bringing you my--Hercules. . His adulation of me makes him now god upon earth. Breast against breast. we expect from these hours approaching Blossoms that will adorn festive the coming new day. XXII Ah. She Had by the gods since time out of mind at their banquets been dreaded. Sucking into our lungs. permit me the joy.

Hardly. stood there ashamed. It's a masque. shouting For all Olympus to hear: "Come. Worthiest man! O the vision of winning my favor makes easy Hitherto unexplored paths. I know my hero too well to be fooled by disguises of actors. embarrassed. He's looking for me. be not deceived. and none would reply to the braggart. the club leaned (by much toil) at her side. none but he. I do my part. I've no doubt you hope that he's looking Piously toward your knees. First she just laughed. though. to conform strength to the dalliance of love. slipped off to enslave." Soon. Which of the gods will now smile in sweet condescension on Cupid? --Juno! delighted. under that powerful foot. of course. (Vulcan had not been one thousandth so vexed to discover his playmate Under his meshes ensnared. escaping attention. even before he's begun. seeing a man humbled so. for I meet him halfway and proclaim his adventures Praising his name in advance. on the other hand. Wiry stiff hair of the hero larded with blossoms. a distaff Laid in his fist. Fame. Scene now completed and ready to tease. One day you'll wed me to Hercules. Happily I'll call him: spouse. saying: "Gods. Cupid.When toward Olympus he gazes. caught with his own lusty friend. had summoned them all (Fame by no means lagged behind). he goes scampering. however. . see these glorious deeds! Heaven and Earth and the Sun on his indefatigable journey Over that infinite path never did witness the like!" Everyone hastened. gulled by the dissolute boy. who feigning Earnest. despairing." All of the gods kept their counsel. Lest in a pique she devise vengeance against one of them. in pain she perceived: Hercules. Afterward decked out his couple in mute masquerade: lionskin Over her shoulders. her hero: Artlessly conquering by--force of a beautiful girl. Hero who Amazons conquered That day will overwhelm me.

Should find him with you. He whom Fame honors most can least defend against Cupid. hot in pursuit is the boy. ill disposed will she be: Frighten you. guffawed.) As for poor Fame. the goddess. in all haste. frowning austerely. . she's watching and list'ning. at the same time. Yes. I will submit to the ancient law and in silence revere her. Ah. too. contemptuously." And the old cuckold was cuckold enough to comply with their wishes. They turned to Vulcan entreating: "Do not release them just yet. lying on bosom so fine Of this magnificent woman. But. For those ashamed of him Cupid reserves the bitterest passions. XXIII However comely be strength. only then do you feel from his bow the arrows most vicious: Heat of man's love for man. Whoever tries to escape him is dragged down from bad deeds to worse ones. I like the Greeks must atone. Jealously she seeks me out. it's the same with me. trapping their instant of joy. And her most dang'rous attacks strike the most morally proud. violently casting Into the worst of repute houses he's known to frequent. burning with wrath she must flee.Lying just as the wiles of the net at the most crucial moment Deftly embraced their embrace. How those boys. Let her but favor a man. and freely admitted: Sweet must be the repose. he will offer you girls--if like a fool you despise These. Let us inspect them once more. For. Bacchus and Mercury. Since then no armistice has been proclaimed to the feuding between them. I haven't escaped her. Secrecy is for a man most important of all. when great lords fall out. Mingling for hypocrites their pleasure in vice and remorse. or free and undaunted comportment. sweet secret love to expose. the goddess seeks him. ardent desires toward beasts.

Courted by so many suitors. Easing in this way the king: earth must conceal the tale. o grow and flower. nor a tight Phrygian cap: Midas has asses ears! the first servant discovers--O horror! Shame of this secret so weighs. Comes to her lover's embrace. One happy couple in love. to conceal the shame of a monarch. but even more difficult keeping: Out of abundance of heart eagerly speaketh my mouth. and their sweet secret. in pentameters I will confide it: During the day she was joy. Cleverly. to the echoing cliffs perorate it? One can do that if one's young. or if one's lonely enough. your blossoms Cradling themselves in the air. Reeds in a trice are sprouting and rustling in murmuring breezes: "Midas. little poems. avoided the snares that were set her Now by one bolder than I. She's coming. and sure of the byways. Midas unburdens his heart. Luna! Don't rise yet. Hide it can neither his crown. at last. lest he be rival to me. as Midas' reeds did with cheap gossip. None of my ladyfriends dare I confide in. always slipped past them. betray to Quirites. now by another in guile. tepid and soft with love's breath. . where he so eagerly waits.Mighty subduer of cities. Difficult is it. Discretion. Into the earth for safekeeping the servant must bury the story. and must not be seen by the neighbor! Breezes. safely you've led me thus far. the scamp--opens lips hitherto sealed so well. Rapture proclaim to the grove. daintily. what fate shall befall me? My frivolous muse has now opened --Cupid. alas. Goddess whom I adore. rustle the leaves: muffle the sound of her feet. Wafting. O princess of nations. And as for you. o Midas the King--bears the ears of an ass!" Mine is a secret more pleasant. Nor any gentleman friend. happiness all the night long. though. I to hexameters tell. for they would but chide me. Now.

Tibullus. Summer's no better: the servants Empty their bowels and show insolent. your glorious rod (dear poet) Proudly shall strut from your loins. not to mention the poems. when but your dearest commands. naked behinds. by your efforts. Propertius. just as the poet has done." so called because he was emulating the elegiasts of Imperial Rome. Now. Cucumber vines grow entwining about this primeval lingam. though I am monstrously strong. all intelligent men look upon me in kindness. Half a foot long. rotten wood! Now. I shall recover With fellow gods my just place.XXIV I in the back of the garden. Jupiter's throne. They like to Form their own image of me. italianate hand for this portfolio of twenty-four "elegies. together in the cyclical form of their original conception. Experts even denied that the two priapeia (I & XXIV) were by Goethe at all. in a corner. above and below! I was clearly in danger of turning Into filth myself. At one time I imagined they must belong at the middle of the cycle where at the end of Elegy XIII Priapus' mother summons . so dishonestly won. Filth. although they are in the same hand as the rest. Catullus. To be sure. Nor shall your member grow weary until you've enjoyed the full dozen Artful positions the great poet Philainis describes. Which they befoul very shamefully. The Elegies have never before been published as here. the last of the gods. Faggots are heaped all about me against the cold of the winter. About the Elegies Goethe cultivated a special. as reward. And it's no more than my due. these two are not numbered. toadstool. so that I was long undecided as to just what their proper position might be. must I stand. marble and bronze. Evil the inroads of time. it was I who secured it: Color and ivory. Cracking it almost in two under the weight of the fruit. Ineptly formed. None finds me ugly today. Nor do the girls take offense when they see me--by no means the matrons. O noblest of artists. Which I so hate for the crows settling then down on my head.

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