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To Priapus

Qualibus Hippomenes rapuit Schoeneida pomis,
   qualibus Hesperidum nobilis hortus erat,
qualia credibile est spatiantem rure paterno
   Nausicaam pleno saepe tulisse sinu,
quale fuit malum quod littera pinxit Aconti,
   qua lecta cupido pacta puella viro est:
taliacumque pius dominus florentis agelli
   imposuit mensae, nude Priape, tuae.

Rare as those apples wherewith Hippomenes Schoeneïs ravished;
Fair as the fruits that enfam'd Garths of the Hesperid maids;
Fen as one fancies the lot which, pacing her patrial vergers,
Nausicaä full oft bare in her well-fillèd lap;
Sweet as the pome whereon Acontius limnèd the letters
Which being read his Fair pledged to her love-longing swain;
Such be the fruits that youth who owneth the flourishing fieldlet
Placed on the table of stone, naked Priapus! for thee.

As the apples with which Hippomenes raped the daughter of Schoeneus;[1] for which the garden of the Hesperides was renowned; which one may imagine Nausicaa[2] often carrying in her teeming lap as she walked in her father's domains; as was that apple graced by the words of Acontius, which, read aloud [by Cydippe], pledged the maiden to this ardent lover[3]--such are those which the boy-owner of a small but fertile field has placed on thy sacrificial table, O naked Priapus.

[1. Referring to the story of the race between Hippomenes and Atalanta, and how the crafty lover tricked the damsel into defeat by the three gold apples.

2. Nausicaa was the daughter of Alcinous, king of Phaeacia, whose pleasure demensnes and luxuriousness became a proverb.

3. The story is very prettily told by Aristaenetus. The words on the apple were--'I swear to thee inviolably, by the mystic rites of Diana, that I will join myself to thee as thy companion and will become thy bride.' According to Vossius the gift of an apple was equivalent to a promise of the last favour. The Emperor Theodosius caused Paulinus to be murdered for receiving an apple from his empress.]

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