If your youth spoke words of love,
give him this answer right away:
‘There’s too much light here, it’s too shameful
In the light: if you’ll lead us to a darker cave, I’ll follow.’
While he goes in front, credulously, and had no sooner reached
The bushes you hid: and were nowhere to be found.
Janus saw you, and the sight raised his passion.
He used soft words to the hard-hearted nymph.
She told him to find a more private cave,
Followed him closely: then deserted her leader.
Foolish child! Janus can see what happens behind him:
You gain nothing: he looks back at your hiding place.
Nothing gained, as I said, you see! He caught you, hidden
Behind a rock, clasped you, worked his will, then said:
‘In return for your union, the hinges belong to you:
Have them as recompense for your maidenhead.’
So saying he gave you a thorn (it was incidentally a white-thorn)
With which to drive away evil from the threshold.
There are some greedy birds, not those that cheated
Phineus of his meal, though descended from that race:
Their heads are large, their eyes stick out, their beaks
dressed as vermin in ermine and prone to crass cupidity