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Scanned from Joseph J. Mooney (tr.), The Minor Poems of Vergil: Comprising the Culex, Dirae, Lydia, Moretum, Copa, Priapeia, and Catalepton (Birmingham: Cornish Brothers, 1916).

Poems Relating to Priapus

THESE pieces are numbered respectively 84, 85, and 86 in Buechler's edition of the "Priapeia."


WITH roses I am sought in spring,
In summer ears of corn they bring,
In autumn fruits, in winter I
A horrid plague alone descry.
For cold I fear, and am afraid
Lest I, a god of timber made,
Should here myself a fire provide
For rustics dense to sit beside.


'Tis I, O traveller, this poplar dry.
Lo! I, with rustic art constructed, I
Do guard this little field which thou dost see
Upon the left and right in front of thee,
The cottage and the little garden, too,
Of owner poor do I retain in view,
And keep his apples from the hand of thief.
On me in spring is placed with flower and leaf
A garland gay, on me in summer heat
The ruddy corn, on me in autumn sweet
And clustered grapes with tendrils green o'th' vine,
On me in frost the ripened olives shine.
From pastures mine the dainty she-goat bears
An udder swelled with milk to city squares,
From folds of mine the fatted lamb they vend,
A hand with money heavy home doth send,
The tender calf from lowing mother ta'en
Doth shed its blood before the temples slain.
So, traveller, this god thou shalt revere,
And shalt retain that band apart from here.
And this doth profit thee, for see! prepared
Doth stand a p . . ., a post impaling bared-
By Pollux, I would like it," dost thou say?
By Pollux, see! the bailiff comes this way,
For whom from socket plucked by arm that's grand
That p . . . .'s a club convenient to his hand.


O YOUTHS, although an and oak that's cut
To shape by rustic axe, this place and hut
I'th' marshes, thatched with reed and osier o'er
And reeds in handfuls, I sustain, that more
And more successful year by year it grow.
For me the owners of this cabin low,
A father and his youthful son, admire
And pay me homage as a god; the sire
Bestowing care with ceaseless diligence
That weeds or bramble rough be taken hence
From sbrine of mine, the youngster bearing grand
Donations ever in his little hand.
On me in flowering spring a garland gay
Is placed, to me is brought the tender spray
When first it's green, the ear that's soft as yet,
The milky poppy, yellow violet,
And apples smelling sweet, and gourds that strayed,
'And blushing grapes produced 'neath leafy shade.
The bearded he-goat, horny-footed she,
These weapons even stain with blood for me
(But ye'll be silent that they serve me thus).
For which acknowledgements this Priapus
Must needs become responsible
For everything, and guard his owner's vineyard well
And garden small. So therefore, boys, from here
Abstain from wicked thefts. Our neighbour near
Is rich, and careless is his Priapus.
So take the fruits from him instead of us;
This very path will take you to the place. Last modified 31 May 1998. This page maintained by David Wilson-Okamura. Email your comments to