Amare liceat, si potiri non licet.
fruantur alii; non moror, non sum invidus;
nam sese excruciat, qui beatis invidet.
quos Venus amavit, facit amoris compotes;
nobis Cupido velle dat, posse abnegat.
olli purpurea delibantes oscula
clemente morsu rosea labia vellicent,
candentes dentes in se effligant suavio,
malas adorent ore et ingenuas genas
et pupularum nitidas geminas gemmulas.
quin et cum tenera membra molli lectulo
complictiora adhaerent Veneris glutino,
libido cum lasciva instinctos suscitat
sinuare ad Veneris cursum femina feminae
inter gannitus et subantis voculas,
carpant papillas atque amplexus intiment
arentque sulcos molles arvo Venerio
thyrsumque pangant hortulo in Cupidinis,
dent crebros ictus conivente lumine,
trepidante cursu Venere et anima fessula
eiaculent tepidum rorem niveis laticibus.
haec illi faciant, queis Venus non invidet;
at nobis casso saltem delectamine
amare liceat, si potiri non licet!
(Apuleius, Anth. Lat. 712)

May I be allowed to love, if I am not allowed to possess!
Others may enjoy it: I do not hinder them, I am not envious;
For he who envies the lucky ones, tortures himself.
To those whom Venus has loved, she grants love:
To me Cupid gives desire, but he denies me fulfilment.
Nibbling someone’s dark-red kisses
With soft biting let them peck rosy lips
Let them strike gleaming teeth against each other in an erotic kiss,
cheeks let them worship with their mouth, and modest temples,
And twinkling little twin gem eyes.
What is more, when tender limbs on a soft bed
Are more closely intertwined by the glue of Venus,
When lascivious lust rouses the instincts
To curve a woman’s thighs to Venus’ course
Between loving whimperings and soft excited words
Let them tease nipples and press embraces,
Let them plough soft furrows on Venus’ field
And plant the thyrsus in Cupid’s garden,
Let them give frequent pushes with closing eyes;
While Venus is still trembling from her course, and the mind is tired,
Let them ejaculate warm dew with snowy liquid.
This those may do whom Venus does not envy;
But as to me, with hollow enjoyment at least,
May I be allowed to love, if I am not allowed to possess!
(tr. Regine May)

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