The Ode of Fronto
The Second Ode to Antinous was delivered by Cornelius
I wince to sing so lewd as Darius,
(Tho’ ever doth admire his skill for it);
Yet if I must with verses carry us
Onward through the eve, I’ll needs pilfer it –
Reluctantly, duress’d, and ‘gainst pref’rence...
Sun-touched Antinous! Despite art male,
And I for pleasure the fair sex ref’rence,
Scarcer than eclipses are days Thou fail
To beckon mine eye with sweet temptation!
‘Tis modesty that’s made me oft remote,
Tied in the binds of mute reservation;
But now doth the wine my valour promote,
Urging, for profit by willing consent,
To know of Thy flesh this sacred event.
If true Thy name be Palaemon the god
(Who from the ocean’s ordeal arrived),
Retrace ought we Thy tribulations trod,
And learn what transpired when the Fates contrived.
Thy mother, Ino, was a lethal soul,
What ‘gainst her twin step-brood half-succeeded;
‘Twas on the flying ram they from her stole,
Whose golden fleece good legacy seeded.
Deeply was Athamas, thy father, moved
To solace his woe in Thy company,
‘Til Ino again her impudence proved,
And raised Dionysus as progeny!
Thus to her jealousy Hera awoke,
And lashed on thy father a madman’s yoke.
Athamas, raving, so slew Thy brother,
And then in his frenzy for Ino prowled.
Scooped, thus, was Thee by Thy wretched mother
Who fled to the rocks where the sea-birds howled.
A leap! And to brine Thy twosome fell,
Splashed, crashed, and crushed by fearsome water’s might.
This be the romance I’ll have us retell:
The plunge of a face to its godly height.
Dive, thus, Antinous, Thy lips to groin!
Slurp, swirl, bobble and flail Thy frantic tongue!
Thrash in the bath of mine intimate loin!
Convulse in the gulp of a gasping lung!
Anon, by wave’s assault of salty shot,
You’ll drown as a swallowing boy-god ought!
Fronto was much Congratulated for his Artistry, and Antinous was
delighted by the Ode’s Demand. So it was that Antinous knelt
down before his Friend, and offered His mouth to Fronto’s