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To Priapus

by Albus Tibullus concerning the inertia of his privy member

Quid hoc novi est? Quid ira nuntiat deum?
Silente nocte candidus mihi puer
tepente cum iaceret abditus sinu,
venus fuit quieta, nec viriliter
iners senile penis extulit caput.
Placet, Priape, qui sub arboris coma
soles, sacrum revincte pampino caput,
ruber sedere cum rubente fascino?
At, o Triphalle, saepe floribus novis
tuas sine arte deligavimus comas,
abegimusque voce saepe, cum tibi
senexve corvus impigerve graculus
sacrum feriret ore corneo caput.
Vale nefande destitutor inguinum,
vale Priape: debeo tibi nihil.
Iacebis inter arva pallidus situ,
canisque saeva susque ligneo tibi
lutosus affricabit oblitum latus.
At o sceleste penis, o meum malum,
gravi piaque lege noxiam lues.
Licet querare, nec tibi tener puer
patebit ullus, imminente qui toro
iuvante verset arte mobilem natem,
puella nec iocosa te levi manu
fovebit apprimetve lucidum femur.
Bidens amica Romluli senis memor
paratur, inter atra cuius inguina
latet iacente pantice abditus specus,
vagaque pelle tectus annuo gelu
araneosus obsidet forem situs.
Tibi haec paratur, ut tuum ter aut quater
voret profunda fossa lubricum caput.
Licebit aeger angue lentior cubes,
tereris usque, donec (a miser! miser!)
triplexque quadruplexque compleas specum.
Superbia ista proderit nihil, simul
vagum sonante merseris caput luto.
Quid est, iners? Pigetne lentitudinis?
Licebit hoc inultus auferas semel,
sed ille cum redibit aureus puer,
simul sonante senseris iter pede,
rigente nervos excubet libidine,
et inquietus inguina arrigat tumor,
neque incitare cesset usque dum mihi
venus iocosa molle ruperit latus.

What news be here? what send those angry gods?
Whenas in silent night that snow-hued boy
To my warm bosom claspèd lay concealed,
Venus was dormant nor in manly guise
My sluggard prickle raised his senile head.
Art pleased (Priapus!) under leafy tree
Wont with vine-tendrils sacred sconce to wreathe
And seat thee ruddy with thy ruddled yard?
But, O Triphallus, oft with freshest flowers
Artlessly garlanded thy brow we crowned
And with loud shouting often drove from thee
What agèd Raven or what agile 'Daw
Would peck thy holy face with horny beak.
Farewell, Priapus! naught to thee owe I
Farewell, forsaker damn'd of private parts!
Pale with neglect amid the fields shalt he
Where savage bandog shall bepiss thee or
Wild boar shall rub thee with his ribs mud-caked.
Accursèd Penis! Oh, by whom my pains
Shall with sore righteous penalty be paid?
Howe'er thou 'plain, no more shall tender boy
Ope to thy bidding, nor on groaning bed
His mobile buttocks writhe with aiding art:
Nor shall the wanton damsel's legier hand
Stroke thee, or rub on thee her lubric thigh.
A two-fanged mistress, Romulus old remembering,
Awaits thee; middlemost whose sable groin
And hide time-loosened thou with coynte-rime bewrayed
And hung in cobwebs fain shalt block the way.
Such prize is thine who thrice and four times shalt
Engulf thy lecherous head in fosse profound.
Though sick or languid lie thou, still thou must
Rasp her till wretched, wretched thou shalt fill
Thrice or e'en fourfold times her cavernous gape;
And naught this haughty sprite shall 'vail thee when
Plunging thine errant head in plashing mire.
Why lies it lazy? Doth its sloth displease thee?
For once thou mayest weaken it unavenged;
But when that golden boy again shall come,
Soon as his patter on the path shalt hear,
Grant that a restless swelling rouse my nerve
Lustful a-sudden and upraise it high,
Nor cease excite it and excite it more
Till wanton Venus burst my weakened side.

What news is this? What does the anger of the gods announce? When in the silent night a lovely boy lay with me hidden in my warm bosom, my desire was quiescent, nor did the sluggish penis courageously raise its senile head. Does it please thee, Priapus? who under the foliage of a tree art wont, thy sacred head circled with the leaves and tendrils of the vine, ruddy to sit with rubicund fascinum. But, O Triphallus, oft fresh flowers with loving care have I wreathed in thy locks; and oft driven off with my shouts an aged raven or an active jackdaw when it would have pecked thy sacred head with its horny bill. Fare thee well, Priapus, I owe thee naught. Farewell, impious forsaker of the privities, thou shalt he in the glebe mouldy with neglect; a savage dog shall continually piss upon thee, or a wild boar rub against thee his side befouled with mire. O cursed father of the penis, to whom my calamity [is due], thou shalt expiate this injury with a severe and pious atonement. Thou canst complain: no tender lad shall yield to thee who on the groaning bed with aiding art shall writhe his mobile buttocks. Nor shall a sportive girl caress thee with her gentle hand, or press against thee her lubricious thigh. A mistress with two teeth is prepared for thee, who can call to mind the time of Romulus; and amid her gloomy loins and loose-stretched hide, covered with frost and full of mould and cobwebs, thy privity shall blockade the entrance. This is the one prepared for thee, that thrice and four times her bottomless ditch may swallow up thy lubricious head. Notwithstanding weak and languid thou liest, thou shalt shag her again and again until, O miserable wretch, thrice and fourfold thou fillest her cavity. And now thy pride shall avail thee naught when thou plungest thy reeling head into the splashing mire. Why is [my yard] inert? doth not its sluggishness displease thee? This once thou mayst deprive it of vigour with impunity. But when that golden boy shall return, at the same time that thou hearest the patter of his foot upon the path, on a sudden let a restless swelling excite my nerves with lust and raise my privy part; nor let it cease to incite more and more until sportive Venus shall have spent my feeble strength.

Next: 85. Neither of garden nor of blessed vine