Egon Schiele, Sitzender männlicher Akt, 1910
Egon Schiele, Sitzender männlicher Akt (1910)

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

‘Mentula, festorum cultrix operosa dierum,
quondam deliciae divitiaeque meae,
quo te deiectam lacrimarum gurgite plangam,
quae de tot meritis carmina digna feram?
tu mihi flagranti succurrere saepe solebas
atque aestus animi ludificare mei.
tu mihi per totam custos gratissima noctem
consors laetitiae tristitiaeque meae,
conscia secreti semper fidissima nostri,
astans internis pervigil obsequiis:
quo tibi fervor abit per quem feritura placebas,
quo tibi cristatum vulnificumque caput?
nempe iaces nullo, ut quondam, perfusa rubore,
pallida demisso vertice nempe iaces.
nil tibi blandities, nil dulcia carmina prosunt,
non quicquid mentem sollicitare solet.
hic velut exposito meritam te funere plango:
occidit, assueto quod caret officio.’
hanc ego cum lacrimis deducta voce canentem
irridens dictis talibus increpui:
‘dum defles nostri languorem, femina, membri,
ostendis morbo te graviore premi.’
illa furens: ‘nescis, ut cerno, perfide, nescis:
non fleo privatum, set generale chaos.
haec genus humanum, pecudum, volucrumque, ferarum
et quicquid toto spirat in orbe, creat.
hac sine diversi nulla est concordia sexus,
hac sine coniugii gratia summa perit.
haec geminas tanto constringit foedere mentes,
unius ut faciat corporis esse duo.
pulcra licet pretium, si desit, femina perdit,
et si defuerit, vir quoque turpis erit.
haec si gemma micans rutilum non conferat aurum
aeternum fallax mortiferumque genus.
tecum pura fides secretaque certa loquuntur,
o vere nostrum fructiferumque bonum!’
(Maximianus, El. 5.88-122)

“Prick, busy celebrator of the holidays,
and old delight and treasure that was mine,
with what fierce flood of tears should I lament your fall?
What songs worth such great service should I bring?
You often were inclined to help me while aroused
and tease me for my spirit’s sultriness.
You were my dearest guardian all through the night,
and partner in my happiness and sadness,
always most trustworthy when privy to our secrets,
standing tall on watch in private rites.
Where did the heat, by which you pleased in foreplay, go?
Where is your crested, wound-inflicting head?
Of course, no longer do you lie engorged with red.
Of course, you lie pale with your drooping crown.
No flattery, no charming songs encourage you,
nothing that tends to stimulate the mind.
I mourn for you here as befits a laid-out corpse;
what lacks its customary use has died.”
As she was singing this in tears, her voice subdued,
I mockingly derided her with these words:
“Woman, while you lament the slackness of my prick,
you show you suffer from a worse disease.”
She raged, “You’re clueless, traitor! Clueless, as I see it!
I mourn a public, not a private, hell.
It makes the human race, the herds, the birds, the beasts
and everything that breathes throughout the world.
Without it there’s no union of the different sexes;
the highest grace of marriage dies without it.
It brings together coupled minds with its strong bond
so that the pair combine to be one flesh.
Though pretty, if it goes, a woman loses value,
and, if it’s gone, a man will be grotesque too.
If this bright gem does not embellish ruddy gold,
a birth is fake and moribund forever.
With you, pure vows and trusted secrets are declared,
O truly fruitful benefit of mine!”
(tr. A.M. Juster)


Egon Schiele, Kniender Akt, Selbstporträt, 1910
Egon Schiele, Kniender Akt, Selbstporträt (1910)

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

Erubui, stupui. quia tunc verecundia mentem
abstulit et blandum terror ademit opus,
contrectare manu coepit flagrantia membra
meque etiam digitis sollicitare suis.
nil mihi torpenti vel tactus profuit ignis:
perstitit in medio frigus ut ante foco.
‘quae te crudelis rapuit mihi femina?’ dixit,
‘cuius ab amplexu fessus ad arma redis?’
iurabam curis animum mordacibus uri
nec posse ad luxum tristia corda trahi.
illa dolum credens ‘non’ inquit ‘fallis amantem:
plurima certus amor lumina semper habet.
quin potius placido noli’ inquit ‘parcere ludo:
proice tristitias et renovare ioco.
obtundunt siquidem curarum pondera sensus:
intermissa minus sarcina pondus habet.’
tunc egomet toto nudatus corpore lecto
effusis lacrimis talia verba dedi:
‘cogimur, heu, senes crimen vitiumque fateri,
ne meus extinctus forte putetur amor.
me miserum, cuius non est culpanda voluptas!
vindicor infelix debilitatis ope.
en longo confecta situ tibi tradimus arma,
arma ministeriis quippe dicata tuis.
fac quodcumque potes, nos cessimus. hoc tamen ipso
grandior est hostis, quod minus ardet amor.’
protinus argutas admovit turpiter artes
meque cupit flammis vivificare suis.
ast ubi dilecti persensit funera membri
nec velut expositum surgere vidit opus,
erigitur viduoque toro laniata recumbens
vocibus his luctus et sua damna fovet:
(Maximianus, El. 5.55-87)

I blushed, I froze. Since shame then made me lose my mind
and panic cut off the alluring task,
she started fondling my burning prick by hand
and she aroused me with her fingers too.
Even the strokes of passion did not help my numbness;
frost stayed within the hearth, as in the past.
“What bitch has stolen you from me?” she said, “From whose
grasp do you come back tired to my arms?”
I swore my spirit was inflamed by gnawing cares;
sad hearts cannot be drawn to easy living.
Sensing a trick, she says, “You do not fool your lover!
Constant love always has its many eyes.”
She says, “What’s more, do not reject our pleasing play!
Give up your frowns and be restored by fun!
Indeed, if loads of burdens make your senses dull,
‘some easing of the weight’ relieves the load.”
Then, with my body fully naked on the bed,
I spoke with streaming tears some words like these:
“Alas, old men are forced to cop to blame and guilt,
in case it’s thought, perhaps, my love is quenched.
I am a wretch whose appetite is not to blame!
Jinxed, I’m excused by virtue of my weakness.
Look! I give you these arms weak from long disuse—
the arms assigned, of course, for your deployments.
Do what you can; I’ve yielded. For this reason, though,
the foe is stronger since love simmers less.”
She shamefully applied her cunning arts at once
and wanted to revive me with her lusts,
but when she recognized the cherished member’s death,
and saw the tool not rise, as if laid out,
and torn—prone on her widowed bed—she grew aroused
and nursed her grief and damage with these words:
(tr. A.M. Juster)


Egon Schiele, Naakte vrouw met rok, 1917
Egon Schiele, Naked woman in a skirt, 1917

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

Illam Sirenis stupefactus cantibus aequans
efficior demens alter Ulixes ego,
et qui non poteram tantas evadere moles
nescius in scopulos et vada caeca feror.
quis referat gressus certa sub lege moventes
suspensosque novis plausibus ire pedes?
grande erat inflexos gradibus numerare capillos,
grande erat in niveo pulla colore coma.
urebant oculos stantes duraeque papillae
et quas astringens clauderet una manus.
ah, quantum mentem stomachi iunctura movebat
atque sub exhausto pectore pingue femur!
terrebar teneros astringere fortiter artus:
visa per amplexus ossa sonare meos.
‘grandia’ clamabat ‘tua nunc me brachia laedunt:
non tolerant pondus subdita membra tuum.’
dirigui, quantusque fuit calor ille recessit
et nata est venae causa pudenda meae.
non lac sic durum permixta coagula reddunt
nec liquidi mollis spuma liquoris erit.
succubui, fateor, Graiae tunc nescius artis,
succubui Tusca simplicitate senex.
qua defensa suo superata est Hectore Troia
unum non poterat fraus superare senem?
muneris iniuncti curam studiumque reliqui
deditus imperiis, saeve Cupido, tuis.
nec memorare pudet tali me vulnere victum:
subditus his flammis Iuppiter ipse fuit.
set mihi prima quidem nox affuit ac sua solvit
munera, grandaevo vix subeunda viro;
proxima destituit vires vacuusque recessit
ardor et in Venerem segnis ut ante fui.
illa velut proprium repetens infesta tributum
instat et increpitat: ‘debita redde mihi!’
sed nihil hic clamor, nil sermo mitis agebat:
quod natura negat, reddere nemo potest.
(Maximianus, El. 5.19-54)

Stunned by her songs, I would compare her to the Sirens,
and while mad I became the new Ulysses,
and I, who was unable to evade such reefs,
was borne off-guard to unseen shoals and rocks.
Who can describe steps moving to a steady beat
that went with fresh applause and arching feet?
It was intense to count her layered waves of hair;
it was intense—dark hair on snowy skin…
Her breasts were standing firm and burning up my eyes,
and with one hand each could be cupped while squeezed.
Ah, how her stomach (joined below by fleshy thighs…)
and her exhausted chest aroused my spirit!
I was scared squeezing her frail limbs aggressively;
bones seemed to crack because of my embraces.
She shouted, “Now your massive arms are hurting me!
My limbs can’t stand to be beneath your bulk!”
I froze, and what had been great lust for her receded,
and my old pecker was a cause for shame.
The well-stirred rennet does not make so firm a curd,
nor will there be light foam on flowing fluid.
I yielded, I confess, unschooled about Greek tricks;
I yielded, an old man with Tuscan dullness.
Couldn’t deceit, through which Hector-guarded Troy
was beaten, triumph over one old man?
I lost concern and fondness for the ordered duties,
cruel Cupid, while enthralled by your commands.
It’s no disgrace recalling loss from such a wound—
Jove was himself subjected to these lusts.
Though my first night had come and paid its pending debt
(one barely handled by an ancient man),
the next one sapped my strength, and hollow passion shrank,
and I was sluggish, as before, at sex.
The hostile girl, as if demanding her own tax,
pursues and snarls, “Return what’s owed to me!”
But here no bluster, no sweet talk was motivating;
what nature cancels, no one can restore.
(tr. A.M. Juster)