However, the obscene Propoetides dared to deny
that Venus was a goddess; for this denial, by the anger of the divine
they are said to be the first to have prostituted their bodies and pride,
as their shame waned and the blood of their face hardened
and they are changed into hard stone with slight difference.
Since, Pygmalion had seen them leading their lives in wickedness,
offended by their countless vices, which nature
gave many to the minds of women, celibate, without a wife,
he was living for many years without a partner of his bed chamber
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, if reverence does not prevent it, you may believe she wants to move.
The art to such an extent, lies hidden it's own art.
Pygmalion wonders at her and drinks in passionate fires of the replicate body.
Often he moved his hands trying the work, whether it
is a body or whether it is ivory, nor does he admit 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
touched 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 similar [to my maiden] of ivory.'
Golden Venus herself present at the festival had
sensed what the prayers want, and an omen 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 with the thumb
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 obscēnae Venerem Prōpoetides ausae
esse negāre deam; prō quō sua nūminis īrā
corpora cum fāmā prīmae vulgasse feruntur,
utque pudor cessit, sanguisque indūruit ōris,
in rigidum parvō silicem discrīmine versae.
Quās quia Pygmaliōn aevum per crīmen agentēs
vīderat, offēnsus vitiīs, quae plūrima mentī
fēmineae nātūra dedit, sine coniuge caelebs
vīvēbat thalamīque diū cōnsorte carēbat.
Intereā niveum mīrā fēlīciter arte
sculpsit ebur fōrmamque dedit, quā fēmina nāscī
nūlla potest, operisque suī concēpit amōrem.
Virginis est vērae faciēs, quam vīvere crēdās,
et, sī nōn obstet reverentia, velle movērī;
ars adeō latet arte suā. Mīrātur et haurit
pectore Pygmaliōn simulātī corporis ignēs.
Saepe manūs operī temptantēs admovet, an sit
corpus an illud ebur, nec adhūc ebur esse fatētur.
Ōscula dat reddīque putat, loquiturque tenetque,
sed crēdit tāctīs digitōs īnsīdere membrīs
et metuit pressōs veniat nē līvor in artūs.
Et modo blanditiās adhibet, modo grāta puellīs
mūnera fert illī, conchās teretēsque lapillōs
et parvās volucrēs et flōrēs mīlle colōrum
līliaquē pictāsque pilās et ab arbore lāpsās
Hēliadum lacrimās. Ōrnat quoque vestibus artūs;
dat digitīs gemmās, dat longa monīlia collō;
aure levēs bācae, redimīcula pectore pendent.
Cūncta decent; nec nūda minus fōrmōsa vidētur.
Conlocat hanc strātīs conchā Sīdōnide tīnctīs
appellatque torī sociam acclīnātaque colla
mollibus in plūmīs tamquam sēnsūra repōnit.
Fēsta diēs Veneris tōtā celeberrima Cyprō
vēnerat, et pandīs inductae cornibus aurum
conciderant ictae niveā cervīce iuvencae,
tūraque fūmābant, cum mūnere fūnctus ad ārās
cōnstitit et timidē ‘Sī, dī, dare cūncta potestis,
sit coniūnx, optō,’ nōn ausus ‘eburnea virgō’
dīcere, Pygmaliōn ‘similis mea,’ dīxit, ‘eburnae.’
Sēnsit, ut ipsa suīs aderat Venus aurea fēstīs,
vōta quid illa velint et, amīcī nūminis ōmen,
flamma ter accēnsa est apicemque per āera dūxit.
Ut rediit, simulācra suae petit ille puellae
incumbēnsque torō dedit ōscula; vīsa tepēre est.
Admovet ōs iterum, manibus quoque pectora temptat;
temptātum mollēscit ebur, positōque rigōre
subsīdit digitīs cēditque, ut Hymettia sōle
cēra remollēscit tractātaque pollice multās
flectitur in faciēs ipsōque fit ūtilis ūsū.
Dum stupet et dubiē gaudet fallīque verētur,
rūrsus amāns rūrsusque manū sua vōta retractat.
Corpus erat; saliunt temptātae pollice vēnae.
Tum vērō Paphius plēnissima concipit hērōs
verba, quibus Venerī grātēs agit, ōraque tandem
ōre suō nōn falsa premit; dataque ōscula virgō
sēnsit et ērubuit, timidumque ad lūmina lūmen
attollēns pariter cum caelō vīdit amantem.
Coniugiō, quod fēcit, adest dea, iamque coāctīs
cornibus in plēnum noviēns lūnāribus orbem
illa Paphon genuit, dē quā tenet īnsula nōmen.