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I can tell not only about a discomfort far greater than others,
But of a horror besides, thinking of which will arouse
Every fiber in me to revulsion. My friends, I confess it:
Great displeasure I take lying alone in my bed.
But it's a horror to fear on the pathways of love you'll discover
Snakes and their venom beneath roses of eager desire—
That at the moment supreme, when I'm yielding to pleasure so fully,
Right at my head as it droops, hissing disease may approach.
That's why Faustina as my companion in bed makes me happy:
Loving she always remains faithful, as I am to her.
Young men are aroused in their passions by obstacles and by excitement;
I prefer to go slow, savoring pleasures secure.
Is it not bliss to exchange tender kisses containing no dangers,
Sucking into our lungs, carefree, our partner's own life?
That is the way our long nights of enjoyment are passed. We listen,
Breast against breast, to the storm, pouring down rain in the wind
Morning begins to dawn, we expect from these hours approaching
Blossoms that will adorn festive the coming new day.
Quirites, permit me the joy, and may this, of all pleasures on earth the
First and the last, be vouchsafed all of mankind by the god.