I don’t dare try to defend my unfortunate practices or to engage in battle falsely on behalf of my flaws. I’ll confess them if it does any good to admit mistakes: I have no control over my actions in this matter.
I hate my weakness regarding women, but the fact my behavior disgusts me doesn’t enable me to control it. Alas how heavy a weight it is to bear though you may try to put it down! For I have no strength or control over this: I’m swept off, like a ship shaken by a swift current.
There’s no particular sort of woman who spurs my desires: there’s a hundred different types, enough to keep me always in love.
If a woman keeps her eyes modestly averted, I burn with lust and plot against her chastity in a way that shames me. If on the other hand she’s rather forward, I’m captivated because she’s not a rustic and her manner gives me hope of easing her into my soft bed.
If she has an austere manner and seems to imitate the stern virtues of the ancient Sabines, I think she’s protesting too much to really mean it. If you’re well read, you offer me the richness of rare knowledge; if you’re uneducated, your simplicity pleases me.
What if she says that compared to my poetry, that of Callimachus was rustic doggerel? She to whom I am pleasing is pleasing to me. But if she finds fault with me as a poet and my verses besides, I want her spread thighs to bear my weight.
This one has a graceful walk; her movements delight me. That one stumps along, but maybe she’ll be more graceful with a man clasped in her arms.
I’d love to kiss this one as she sings because she has a sweet voice and enormous range. That one’s skilled thumb coaxes plaintive chords from the lyre; who wouldn’t love such skilled hands?
This one delights me because she moves her arms and torso gracefully in practiced gestures. I won’t say how this affects me (because everything affects me), but introduce her to chaste Hippolytus and he’d become as horny as Priapus.
You, because you’re tall, make me think of epic heroines; you’d be able to exercise me over the whole bed. But this one is desirable because she’s so short. I’m overwhelmed by both: both tall and short are just what I’m looking for.
This one isn’t fashionably gotten up; she takes by stealth what fashion tries to attack. This one is adorned; she’s an advertisement of her value.
The pale woman is fetching to me, the tanned woman is fetching to me. Lust even in the form of a negress finds me.
When dark hair hangs against the white neck of this one, I think of how striking black-haired Leda was; but if she were a blonde, she’d remind me of Aurora with her gleaming yellow hair. My love will fit itself to any myth.
Youth entices me, mature age touches me. The first is better looking, but the latter has experience.
Besides that, if there’s any girl in this City whom anyone fancies, my love has designs on her.