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To Priapus

'Falce minax et parte tui maiore, Priape,
   ad fontem, quaeso, dic mihi qua sit iter.'

Dreadful wi' sickle and dire with thy greater part, O Priapus!
Prithee to me point out which be the way to the fount?

Priapus, terrific with thy sickle and thy greater part, tell me, prithee, which is the way to the fountain?[1]

[1. Scaliger says that figures of Priapus and of Mercury were placed at crossroads, with rods in their hands, pointing out the way to fountains. 'The figure of Hermes had, like that of Priapus, a long and massive phallus; I have seen them in a cardinal's palace at Rome; and another proof is the saying of the philosophers, who, deriding the gluttony and lust of the youths, compared them to tois ermais [statues of Mercury], which had nothing but the head and the penis.' Therefore, Priapus is here referred to as a god of the road.]

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