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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Once upon a time had to a hero been kind. and I'd like to do something Here in this far away land pleasing to such an old friend. That made the fortune of Crete! The marital bed of the goddess Soon grew pregnant with grain. goddess. and if you believe him he'll cheat you. Turned and beckoned their loves--love. It was to Jason. You've now regarded with awe all the structures which lie here in ruins. --Now the initiate youths. Derelict of her true task. anxiously hoping for light. Lo. sensing each hallowéd space. . secretive image concealed. Cultivated your eye. having followed this tale. she granted Of her immortal self hidden sweet parts to explore. I have followed you hither to Rome. powerful king of the Cretans. Now virgins came bearing Caskets securely locked. Every traveller I've ever known has complained of poor treatment: He whom I recommend treatment delicious receives. it languished away. this time. do you comprehend? See there the sacred shade beneath that bushy-boughed myrtle? Our satisfaction will there scarcely endanger a world. while Ceres.Snakes on the ground were writhing about. dalliance offered in love. What was this mystery other than this: that Demeter. Here's what the hypocrite said: "Trust me just once more. 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. within sacred ring. all astonished. heavy her bounteous fields. As for the rest of the world. XV Cupid is always a scoundrel. richly wreathéd with grain. Surely the gestures of murmuring priests must contain some deep meaning-Impatient acolytes wait.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

had no thought of publication when he indited these remembrances of Ancient Rome. the dense references to media celebrities. In 1795. and alienated from prim. Central Time. Modern editors of what they call the "Roman Elegies" bring abundant annotation. one of whom was the wonderful dramatist Friedrich Schiller. Schiller undertook a new periodical. in our publications today. Most people start at our Web sites at: .txt Produced by Harry Haile and Mike Pullen Project Gutenberg eBooks are often created from several printed editions. courtly friends (especially since he had taken a girlfriend into his cottage). It makes for pretty difficult reading in our present." as he called it. For a discussion of all this. comment and editing by those who wish to do so. Please note neither this listing nor its contents are final til midnight of the last day of the month of any such announcement. The official release date of all Project Gutenberg eBooks is at Midnight. My attempt has been--for the very first time by the way. less interested epoch. But he did show them to close friends. it is enough to say that among Schiller's examples for "aesthetic education. in any language--to restore Goethe's cycle to his early conception. Obviously Goethe. we usually do not keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition. leaving time for better editing. just returned north from his two years in Italy (1786-88). This thoughtful and responsible man initiated the journal with an essay of his own. along with the final one). 8erot10a. explaining how forms of entertainment are actually at the same time our primary modes of education. were these Elegies by his much admired friend. What I bring here is merely translated from his manuscript in the Goethe-Schiller Archive in Weimar. see Professor Worthy's Page For now. which were as familiar to his own readership as are. I must apologize for Goethe's many classical allusions. even years after the official publication date. Since I have been unwilling to intrude with learned notes. But he did break the essay up with diversions solicited from the best minds of his era. 8erot11. by Johann Wolfgang Goethe *** END OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK EROTICA ROMANA *** This file should be named Corrected EDITIONS of our eBooks get a new NUMBER.her son. A preliminary version may often be posted for suggestion. End of Project Gutenberg's Erotica Romana. Wolfgang Goethe. of the last day of the stated month. Please be encouraged to tell us about any error or corrections.txt or 8erot10.txt VERSIONS based on separate sources get new LETTER. We are now trying to release all our eBooks one year in advance of the official release dates. and often detail Goethe's own emendations. all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the US unless a copyright notice is included. Thus. Editor and author made substantial changes for propriety's sake--despite Goethe's having lashed out to the contrary in the first Elegy (which he now suppressed. Die Horen.

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