O non candidior puella Mauro,
sed morbosior omnibus cinaedis,
Pygmaeo brevior gruem timente,
ursis asperior pilosiorque,
Medis laxior Indicisve bracis,
mallem scilicet ut libenter ires.
nam quamvis videar satis paratus,
erucarum opus est decem maniplis,
fossas inguinis ut teram dolemque
cunni vermiculos scaturrientis.
Ho girl! no whiter-skinned than Moorish man
Yet, Oh! than every pathic softer far;
Squatter than Pygmey fearful of the crane;
Harsher and hairier than pelt of bear;
Looser than Median or than Indian hose;
Remain as please thee or at will depart.
For, though full ready seem I, yet I want
Of rockets half-score bundles at the least,
Ere I that ditch-like groin can scrub and crush
The swarming wormlets of thy privy parts.
O Damsel, no fairer-skinned than the Moor, but limper than any catamite, briefer in stature than the Pygmies timorous of the crane, harsher in aspect and shaggier than a she-bear, roomier [in thy vulva] than the trousers of the Medes and Indians, thou mayst tarry here or depart at thy will. For, though I may seem fully equipped, 'twould be the work of ten handfuls of rockets* to [induce me to] scrub through the ditches 'twixt thy thighs, and bethwack the worms swarming in thy coynte!
[1. A kind of colewort or rocket, a salacious herb sacred to Priapus. The derivation of the word eruca is either from uro to bum (quasi urica), or from erodere, as it were biting the tongue by its pungent taste. According to Scioppius, however, it was so called because it consumed an the little insects which thrive on the body. Columella writes--
The eruca, Priapus, near thee we sow,
To rouse to duty husbands who are slow.
The rocket reviving languishing love.
Horace and Pliny mention rocket, and Martial cites both onions and rocket as aphrodisiacs. Beans (fabae) were also regarded as provocatives to lust. Savory is spoken of as salacious by Ovid. Other aphrodinars of a less innocent kind were in use amongst the Romans. Hippomes ('the dire excrescence of a new-dropt foal'), menstrual blood and human semen were employed in the preparation of love philtres; and the introduction of a dildo smeared with oil, pepper and crushed nettle seeds into the anus was used for a like purpose. Flagellation, so extensively practised in England as a provocative to venery, is almost entirely unnoticed by the Latin erotic writers; although in the Satyricon of Petronius, Encolpius, in describing the steps taken by Oenothea to undo the temporary impotence to which he was subjected, says, 'Next she mixed nasturtium juice with southernwood, and having bathed my foreparts, she took a bunch of green nettles, and gently whipped my belly all over below the navel.']