Uvis aridior puella passis,
buxo pallidior novaque cera,
collatas sibi quae suisque membris
formicas facit altiles videri,
cuius viscera non aperta Tuscus
per pellem poterit videre haruspex,
quae suco caret ut putrisque pumex,
nemo viderit hanc ut exspuentem,
quam pro sanguine pulverem scobemque
in venis medici putant habere,
ad me nocte solet venire et affert
pallorem maciemque larualem.
ductor ferreus insularis aeque et
lanternae videor fricare cornu.
A damsel drier than the raisin'd grape,
Warmer than boxwood or than virgin wax,
Who pismires clustering on her every limb
Maketh a bulky-corpulent folk appear;
One whose unopened bowels through her skin
The Tuscan wizard can at will prospect;
One who like rotten pounce so lacking juice
None ever saw her with a slavering lip;
One whom for blood her arteries within
To have sand or sawdust differing leeches deem--
Such one to visit me anights is wont
Bringing with ghostly leanness ghastly hue;
Whist I (like island iron-forger) seem
To rub and rasp me on a lanthorn's horn
Girl, more meagre than dried grapes, more dusky-white than boxwood or unsullied wax; who makes the ants congregated on her body and members seem corpulent; whose bowels the Etruscan soothsayer could without opening see through the skin; who, like pumice, has no sap, insomuch as no one has seen her sputter; who, physicians think, has sand for blood, and in her veins sawdust--[this girl] is wont to come to me in the night, and approaches me, wan, attenuate and ghostlike, whilst I, as an insular iron-worker scrapes, seem to be rubbing in the horn of a lantern.
[1. This is reminiscent of an epigram by Catullus against Furius, in which he describes him as having a body more dried than horn by extreme poverty; adding, 'Sweat, saliva, mucus and nasal snivelling, all these are absent from thee. Add to this cleanliness the still greater cleanliness that thy buttocks are purer than a salt-cellar. Thou does not cack ten times in the whole of the year, and then it is harder than a bean or than pebbles, so that if thou rubbest and crumblest it in thy hands thou canst never dirty a finger.'
2. Islands abound in metals, hence convicts in ancient times were transported to work on them.
3. Here used in a jocular comparison of the girl's parts with the horn of a lantern for hardness and dryness in coition.]