Erotica Romana

Erotica Romana

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Erotica Romana by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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59

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Erotica Romana

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Book Excerpt

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Thinking about his embrace and its pleasures, she seems to be asking

Shouldn't our glorious son here at our side stand erect?

XIV

Can't you hear voices, beloved, out on the Via Flamina?

Reapers are now going home, back from harvesting grain.

They had journeyed to Rome from afar, and here plaited for Ceres

Wreaths which the Romans today scorn to make for themselves.

Festivals no longer celebrate Ceres, the nourishing goddess

Who replaced acorns of old, giving man golden wheat.

Let us commemorate her then ourselves in festival private

(Two constitute a whole tribe, when they are two in love).

Have you by any chance heard how that mystical, strange celebration

Followed victorious troops back from Eleusis to Rome?

Greeks were the ones who began it, and only to Greeks they proclaimed it

Even within Roman walls: "Come to the sanctified night."

Those who were not of the cult kept their distance; neophy

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