"However, the Propoetides dared to deny
that Venus was a goddess;for this denial, their bodies
said to have been first prostituted by this divine anger, their shame gave way
and the blood of their face hardened
and they are changed into unmoveable flint with little noticeable change
"Since, Pygmalion had seen them living a life
through crime, and having been affected by their wickedness, which many
nature has given the feminine mind, celibate he lived
for many years without a partner of the couch
In the Meantime he sculpted white ivory happily
with wonderous art and wonderous skill, and gave it form with which
no woman is able to be born, and he fell in love with his own work.
It is the image of a true maiden whom you may believe is living
and, without modesty in the way you may believe she wants to move.
So much his art hides his own art.
He wonders at her and drinks in passionate fires for his heart for created art
Often he moved his hands touching the work, whether it
is a body or ivory, nor does he confess that it is ivory to this point.
He gives it kisses and he thinks kisses are returned. He speaks
and he holds the work and thinks his fingers are sinking into the
limbs and is afraid lest a bruise arise on the touched limbs
And now he offers flatteries and brings
that girl dear gifts, shells and smooth stones,
and small birds and flowers of a thousand colors
and lilies and painted spheres and tears of the Heliades
fallen from the trees; he adorns her limbs with clothing and,
he gives the fingers gems, he gives the neck a long necklace,
and light pearls from an ear, and small garlands hang from her chest
All are fitting; [but] nor naked appears less lovely.
He arranges this one on a coverlet dyed with
Sidonian conch and calls her his bed's partner and
puts back its neck laid on soft feathers, as if it will feel.
"The festive day of Venus, most celebrated in all Cyprus, came,
and heifers covered in respect to gold on their bent horns
had fallen having been struck on the snowy neck,
and incenses were fuming, when having performed his ritual duties,
he stood at the altars and timidly said: 'God, if you can give all,
I wish that my wife be similar to the ivory (he didn't dare say ivory maiden)
he said 'one like my [maiden] of ivory.'
Golden Venus herself present at the festival had
sensed what the prayers want, and a sign of the divinity's fondness,
a flame rose up 3 times and led a tip through the air.
As he returned, he seeks out a image of his girl
and reclining the statue of the couch he gives it kisses and she seems to be warm
He moves his mouth again and touches her chest with his hands;
the touched ivory grows soft after the hardness has been put aside.
and gives way to fingers, just as Hymetian
wax softens again having been touched by the thumb
it is bent into many faces and becomes useful by use itself.
While he is astounded and rejoices hesitatingly and afraid to be mistaken
again loving the statue and again the lover touching the prayer again and again
It was a body and the touched veins lept forth
Then indeed the Paphian hero starts with very many words,
with which he thanks Venus, and finally he presses
the nor false mouth with his own mouth, the maiden sensed
the given kisses and blushed and raising a timid eye to the lights
saw her lover together with the sky.
The goddess is present at that marriage which she made,
and now with the lunar horns full in full circle nine times
the woman begot Paphos, from whom the island hold the name."
"Sunt tamen obscenae Venerem Propoetides ausae
esse negare deam; pro quo sua numinis ira
corpora cum famā primae vulgasse feruntur,
utque pudor cessit, sanguisque induruit oris,
in rigidum parvo silicem discrimine versae.
"Quas quia Pygmalion aevum per crimen agentis
viderat, offensus vitiis, quae plurima menti
femineae natura dedit, sine coniuge caelebs
vivebat thalamique diu consorte carebat.
interea niveum mira feliciter arte
sculpsit ebur formamque dedit, qua femina nasci
nulla potest, operisque sui concepit amorem.
virginis est verae facies, quam vivere credas,
et, si non obstet reverentia, velle moveri:
ars adeo latet arte sua. miratur et haurit
pectore Pygmalion simulati corporis ignes.
saepe manus operi temptantes admovet, an sit
corpus an illud ebur, nec adhuc ebur esse fatetur.
oscula dat reddique putat loquiturque tenetque
et credit tactis digitos insidere membris
et metuit, pressos veniat ne livor in artus,
et modo blanditias adhibet, modo grata puellis
munera fert illi conchas teretesque lapillos
et parvas volucres et flores mille colorum
liliaque pictasque pilas et ab arbore lapsas
Heliadum lacrimas; ornat quoque vestibus artus,
dat digitis gemmas, dat longa monilia collo,
aure leves bacae, redimicula pectore pendent:
cuncta decent; nec nuda minus formosa videtur.
conlocat hanc stratis concha Sidonide tinctis
adpellatque tori sociam adclinataque colla
mollibus in plumis, tamquam sensura, reponit.
"Festa dies Veneris tota celeberrima Cypro
venerat, et pandis inductae cornibus aurum
conciderant ictae nivea cervice iuvencae,
turaque fumabant, cum munere functus ad aras
constitit et timide 'si, di, dare cuncta potestis,
sit coniunx, opto,' non ausus 'eburnea virgo'
dicere, Pygmalion 'similis mea' dixit 'eburnae.'
sensit, ut ipsa suis aderat Venus aurea festis,
vota quid illa velint et, amici numinis omen,
flamma ter accensa est apicemque per aera duxit.
ut rediit, simulacra suae petit ille puellae
incumbensque toro dedit oscula: visa tepere est;
admovet os iterum, manibus quoque pectora temptat:
temptatum mollescit ebur positoque rigore
subsidit digitis ceditque, ut Hymettia sole
cera remollescit tractataque pollice multas
flectitur in facies ipsoque fit utilis usu.
dum stupet et dubie gaudet fallique veretur,
rursus amans rursusque manu sua vota retractat.
corpus erat! saliunt temptatae pollice venae.
tum vero Paphius plenissima concipit heros
verba, quibus Veneri grates agat, oraque tandem
ore suo non falsa premit, dataque oscula virgo
sensit et erubuit timidumque ad lumina lumen
attollens pariter cum caelo vidit amantem.
coniugio, quod fecit, adest dea, iamque coactis
cornibus in plenum noviens lunaribus orbem
illa Paphon genuit, de qua tenet insula nomen."