Cur obscena mihi pars sit sine veste, requiris?
quaere, tegat nullus cur sua tela deus.
fulmen habet mundi dominus, tenet illud aperte;
nec datur aequoreo fuscina tecta deo.
nec Mavors illum, per quem valet, occulit ensem,
nec latet in tepido Palladis hasta sinu.
num pudet auratas Phoebum portare sagittas?
clamne solet pharetram ferre Diana suam?
num tegit Alcides nodosae robora clavae?
sub tunica virgam num deus ales habet?
quis Bacchum gracili vestem praetendere thyrso,
quis te celata cum face vidit, Amor?
nec mihi sit crimen, quod mentula semper aperta est:
hoc mihi si telum desit, inermis ero.
'Why be my parts obscene displayed without cover?' thou askest:
Ask I wherefore no God careth his sign to conceal?
Wieldeth the Lord of the World his thunderbolt ever unhidden,
Nor is trident a-sheath given to the Watery God:
Mars never veileth that blade whose might is his prevalent power,
Nor in her tepid lap Pallas concealeth the spear:
Say me, is Phoebus ashamed his gold-tipt arrows to carry?
Or is her quiver wont Dian in secret to bear?
Say, doth Alcides hide his war-club doughtily knotted?
Or hath the God with the wings rod hidden under his robe?
When did Bacchus endue with dress his willowy Thyrsus?
Who ever spied thee, Love! wilfully hiding thy torch?
Ne'er be reproach to myself this mentule ever uncover'd:
Lacking my missile's defence I shall be wholly unarm'd.
Why are my privy parts without vesture? you demand. I ask why no God conceals his emblem? The Lord of the World [Jupiter] has his thunderbolt, and holds it unconcealed; nor is a covered trident given to the God of the Sea [Neptune]. Mars does not secrete the sword by whose means he prevails; nor does Pallas's spear lie hid in the warm bosom of her robe. Is Phoebus ashamed to carry his golden arrows? Is Diana wont to bear her quiver secretly? Does Alcides conceal the strength of his knotted club? Has the winged God [Mercury] his caduceus under his tunic? Who has seen Bacchus draw his garment over the slender thyrsus; or thee, O Love, with hidden torch? Nor should it be a reproach to me that my mentule is always uncovered. For if this spear be wanting to me, I am weaponless.