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

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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.

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

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

black and austere out of primeval basalt. Eagerly yields herself up to the quick. and so solemn: Silence exactly befits rites at which we're adepts. even Zeus' punishment sooner we'd dare-Under that rock. Mischievous celebrants we at these mysteries gay. We are like you. playful and tender and sweet. that is her name. ardently swam toward his love. When Rhea Silvia. Sweet Opportunity. a home-May the Egyptian. . to the active man only. a god seized her and that is the way Mars begat himself sons. So now the daughter beguiles the naive and bedazzles the foolish. Teases you while you're asleep. came down to the Tiber Just to fetch water. He discovers she's tame. a pair of twins whom a she wolf Suckled. princess and virgin. or bound to a tumbling wheel we'd endure it-Than we'd withdraw our hearts from the delights of her cult. Hoping for favor from each god and each goddess as well. Or from the marble a Greek. VI We are so pious. Often will she turn up. when you awaken. 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. Today a proud Rome claims to be queen of the world. Daughter of Proteus might well she be whom he sired upon Thetis.Into dark waters he plunged. she's flown. ye victorious Romans. Therefore we gladly confess to singling a special immortal And our devotions each day pledging but solely to her. ever in a new form. strewn for just one of their host). in this: for we offer Gods of all peoples and tribes. we lovers. Rather onto our heels by horrible deeds the Erinyes We would allure. over the whole world. You should meet her. Discreetly we worship all powers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's a masque. caught with his own lusty friend. I've no doubt you hope that he's looking Piously toward your knees. however. a distaff Laid in his fist. even before he's begun. I know my hero too well to be fooled by disguises of actors." All of the gods kept their counsel. who feigning Earnest. be not deceived. her hero: Artlessly conquering by--force of a beautiful girl. Afterward decked out his couple in mute masquerade: lionskin Over her shoulders. slipped off to enslave. Scene now completed and ready to tease. . First she just laughed. of course. seeing a man humbled so. in pain she perceived: Hercules. none but he. under that powerful foot. Lest in a pique she devise vengeance against one of them. stood there ashamed. he goes scampering. Wiry stiff hair of the hero larded with blossoms. for I meet him halfway and proclaim his adventures Praising his name in advance. (Vulcan had not been one thousandth so vexed to discover his playmate Under his meshes ensnared.When toward Olympus he gazes. had summoned them all (Fame by no means lagged behind). embarrassed. 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. Fame. and none would reply to the braggart. escaping attention. He's looking for me. despairing. saying: "Gods. Cupid. though. Hardly. I do my part. to conform strength to the dalliance of love. shouting For all Olympus to hear: "Come. the club leaned (by much toil) at her side. Worthiest man! O the vision of winning my favor makes easy Hitherto unexplored paths. One day you'll wed me to Hercules. on the other hand. Happily I'll call him: spouse. Hero who Amazons conquered That day will overwhelm me." Soon. gulled by the dissolute boy. Which of the gods will now smile in sweet condescension on Cupid? --Juno! delighted.

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

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

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

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