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To Priapus

By Marcus Valerius Martialis

Non horti neque palmitis beati
sed rari nemoris, Priape, custos,
ex quo natus es et potes renasci,
furaces, moneo, manus repellas
et siluam domini focis reserues:
si defecerit haec, et ipse lignum es.

Neither of garden nor of blessèd vine
But of a little holt (Priapus!) guard,
Wherein wast born and may'st be born again;
I warn thee plundering hand alway repel
And keep the fuel for thy master's fire--
An this be wanting, mind! of wood thou art.

Priapus, guardian not of a garden nor of the sacred vine but of the little grove from which thou wert born and mayst again be born. I warn thee drive off thievish hands and preserve the wood for thy master's hearth. If this be wanting, remember thou too art wooden.[1]

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