Huc huc, quisquis es, in dei salacis
deverti grave ne puta sacellum.
et si nocte fuit puella tecum,
hac re quod metuas adire, non est.
istuc caelitibus datur severis:
nos vappae sumus et pusilla culti
ruris numina, nos pudore pulso
stamus sub Iove coleis apertis.
ergo quilibet huc licebit intret
nigra fornicis oblitus favilla.
Here' Here! nor dare expect (whoe'er thou be)
To 'scape the Lecher God's fane venerand;
And, if a damsel lay the night with thee,
From this my presence fear not to be bann'd
Fen as the sterner Gods of Heaven command.
The Ne'er-do-wells and paltry gods are we
Of rural worship and 'spite modesty
Aye under Jove with balls a-bare we stand:
Then enter whoso hither entry seek
Reckless of bawdy-house's blackened reek!
Hither, hither, whoever thou art, to the venerable sanctuary of the lecherous God, nor think to be turned away. And if a girl were with thee in the night, 'tis no reason why thou shouldst fear to approach my altar; though it is otherwise with the stem Gods above. I am a good-for-naught, a paltry rustic deity of scant culture. I stand in the open air, my modesty thrust aside, My bollocks exposed to view. Therefore, 'tis permitted to enter hither all who will, besmirched with the black filth of the stews.
[1. The ancients thought that those defiled by carnal coition generally were precluded from worship of the gods until they had been purified by bathing.
2. In the stews, they had lamps hanging, on the back part of which was expressed, hieroglyphically, to whom they were dedicated. Many of these lamps bore phallic emblems: I have seen one on the upper part of which was a sculpture representing Leda in the act of coition with the swan. The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter and the Satires of Juvenal and Horace all speak of the Roman brothels, which were constructed in the form of a gallery along which were ranged, on each side like a nunnery, a number of contiguous cells or chambers. Over the door of each of these was posted a bill with the price and name of the tenant, who stood at the entrance soliciting the preferences of the visitors.]