For yon oaken avenue, swain, you must steer,
Where a statue of figwood, you'll see, has been set:
It has never been barked, has three legs and no ear;
But I think there is life in the patriarch yet.
He is handsomely shrined within fair chapel-walls;
Where, fringed with sweet cypress and myrtle and bay,
A stream ever-fresh from the rock's hollow falls,
And the ringleted vine her ripe store doth display:
And the blackbirds, those shrill-piping songsters of spring,
Wake the echoes with wild inarticulate song:
And the notes of the nightingale plaintively ring,
As she pours from her dun throat her lay sweet and strong.
Sitting there, to Priapus, the gracious one, pray
That the lore he has taught me I soon may unlearn:
Say I'll give him a kid, and in case he says nay
To this offer, three victims to him will I burn;
A kid, a fleeced ram, and a lamb sleek and fat;
He will listen, mayhap, to my prayers upon that.
Last updated January 14, 2019