© Marie Lafrance

This is part 3 of 3. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here.

Post haec Gram horrendae monstruosaeque vocis habitum trucioris soni modulis aemulatus silentiique diuturnioris impatiens talibus puellam dictis aggreditur:
“ne timeat rabidi germanum virgo gigantis
me neque contiguum palleat esse sibi.
a Grip missus enim numquam nisi compare voto
fulcra puellarum concubitumque peto.”
cui Gro:
“quae sensus exsors scortum velit esse gigantum?
aut quae monstriferum possit amare torum?
quae coniunx fore daemonum
possit monstrigeni conscia seminis
suumque giganti fero
consociare velit cubile?
quis spina digitos fovet?
quis sincera luto misceat oscula?
quis membra iungat hispida
levibus impariter locatis?
cum natura reclamitat,
haud plenum Veneris carpitur otium,
nec congruit monstris amor
femineo celebratus usu.”
Gram contra:
“regum colla potentium
victrici toties perdomui manu,
fastus eorum turgidos
exsuperans potiore dextra.
hinc aurum rutilans cape,
quo perpes maneat pactio munere
ac firma consistat fides
coniugiis adhibenda nostris.”
quo dicto discussis larvis, nativum oris decorem confessus tantum paene voluptatis vero sui aspectu puellae attulit, quantum adulterino terroris incussit; quam etiam formae suae luculentia ad concubitum provocatam amatoriis donis prosequi non omisit.
(Saxo Grammaticus, Historia Danorum 1.4.8-10)

Then Gram, brooking silence no longer, rounded on the girl, and by giving a harsher timbre to his words imitated the hair-raising voice of a giant:
“Let not the maiden fear a savage ogre’s brother.
When I draw near, let her not grow pale.
Sent here by Grip, I shall not lie within the embrace
of any female, except with her consent.”
To which Gro replied:
“What woman in her senses wants to be a giant’s whore?
What girl could enjoy his gargantuan couch,
bear to be a demon’s wife,
knowing the monster-breeding seed,
wish to find a ferocious titan
sharing with her the nuptial bed?
Who would stroke her fingers on thorns?
Who would give warm kisses to mud?
Who would join her smooth body,
unjustly fitted, to bristly limbs?
When Nature wholly cries out against it,
you cannot crop true love’s repose.
Ill-framed to match with mammoth bulk
is the love that women are wont to feel.”
Gram retorted:
“Many times this conquering arm
has tamed the necks of mighty monarchs.
This overpowering right hand
has beaten down their swelling pride.
Take this red-glowing gold from me,
that by this gift a lasting pact
of firm faith may be struck between us,
helping to consolidate our marriage.”
At these words he threw off his disguise and revealed the natural grace of his countenance. His true appearance brought almost as much pleasure to the girl as his false trappings had instilled her with alarm. He did not forget to ply her with love-gifts and encourage the urge to mate which his beauty had provoked in her.
(tr. Peter Fisher)

2 thoughts on “Consociare”

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