Insulsissima quid puella rides?
non me Praxiteles Scopasve fecit,
nec sum Phidiaca manu politus;
sed lignum rude vilicus dolavit,
et dixit mihi: 'tu Priapus esto'.
spectas me tamen et subinde rides?
nimirum tibi salsa res videtur
adstans inguinibus columna nostris.
Why laugh such laughter, O most silly maid?
My form Praxiteles nor Scopas hewed;
To me no Phidian handwork finish gave;
But me a bailiff hacked from shapeless log,
And quoth my maker, 'Thou Priapus be!'
Yet on me gazing forthright gigglest thou
And holdest funny matter to deride
The pillar perking from the groin of me.
Why, most foolish girl, do you laugh? Neither Praxiteles nor Scopas has given me shape, nor have I been perfected by the hand of Phidias; but a bailiff carved me from a shapeless log, and said to me, 'You are Priapus!' Yet you gaze at me, and laugh repeatedly. Doubtless it seems to you a droll thing--the 'column' standing upright from my groin.
[1. Praxiteles, according to Pliny, lived in the time of Pompeius: his statue of Venus was very famous.
2. Scopas was a celebrated sculptor in marble and carved in relief on the Mausoleum.
3. Phidias was a renowned ivory sculptor.
4. The statue was so badly carved that the sculptor had to explain what his work was intended to represent.]