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PRIAPUS, on thine altar here I lay,
That thou mayst hear my prayer, thou clement god,
Bunches of parsley and flowered orange spray,
And, with its green peas swollen, the first pod.

 

Thou who dost smile on lovers under trees,
Send me the goatherd Daphnis hard to find:
Eros, begrudging me my spirit's ease,
Has of his mouth the murderous arch designed.

 

Why does he not, as others use, with green
And hyacinth entwine my porch? I frown
On others, and before him none had been
Who had untied the girdle of my gown.

 

Thou mightest love me, Daphnis, at the noon,
And when my goats go grazing, I would sink
Under thy heavy kiss and laugh, and swoon . . .
And from my beechen cup we then would drink.

 

See! in my sandals soft and light reclining
Like two white pigeons are my naked feet;
My slender arms are like to rushes shining,
As vegetable oils their smell is sweet.

 

And see my whoolly lambs: from their fine fleece
For our keen kisses we will make a bed;
We will tell by scents when months begin and cease,
By ripened fruits and roses open├Ęd.

 

--O syrinx-player! when the red sunset
Makes the cicada noiseless as his wife,
Hid in the forest teach me, what I yet
Have learned not, the sweet mysteries of life.

 

And on the morrow thereof, through the dew,
To honour better the initial night,
We will go flower-laden, I and you,
Unto Priapus, god of best delight.