This was the time when women, for nine nights,
shun union with their husbands; any touch
of man is banned. Cenchreis, the king's wife,
has joined the throng; she shares these secret rites.
When, in her wretched zeal, the old nurse finds
that Cinyras is drunk with wine, deprived,
without his lawful wife, she tells the king
that a young girl is now in love with him;
but she does not reveal the girl's true name –
the girl whose beauty she is quick to praise.
And when he wants to know the young girl's age,
she says, 'the same as Myrrha's.' When he tells
the nurse to fetch that girl, she runs to find
her Myrrha and, 'My dear, we've won,' she cries" (10.431-443)
(Venus, in Orpheus's song):
"I saw that I would have
to make them serve as an example: I
incited my own self against that pair.
One day, they chanced to pass before the shrine
that, to fulfill a vow that he had pledged,
Echion built: a temple for Cybele,
the Mother of the gods, a shrine that stood
concealed within the shadows of deep woods.
The pair had journeyed long; they needed rest;
and I ignited him: Hippomenes –
such is my power as a deity –
was struck with an indecent, sudden need
for Atalanta's body." (10.685-690)
Pomona feared the peasants' brutish ways,
fenced off her orchards, and avoided men –
she never let them in.
How hard they tried –
young Satyrs, with their dancing, leaping steps
and Paris, whose horns were garlanded with pines;
and he whose years were more than what he showed,
Silvanus; and Priapus, he whose scythes
and penis are a sight that terrifies
all thieves – they tried, but they did not succeed. (14.636-641)