A Courtesan’s Love Lyric

My rewards will be commensurate with your gifts
if only you give me the one that lifts
me laughing …

And though it costs you nothing,
still it is of immense value to me.

Your reward will be
not just to fly
but to soar, so high
that your joys vastly exceed your desires.

And my beauty, to which your heart aspires
and which you never tire of praising,
I will employ for the raising
of your spirits. Then, lying sweetly at your side,
I will shower you with all the delights of a bride,
which I have more expertly learned.

Then you who so fervently burned
will at last rest, fully content,
fallen even more deeply in love, spent
at my comfortable bosom.

When I am in bed with a man I blossom,
becoming completely free
with the man who loves and enjoys me.

 

(Veronica Franco, trans. Michael R. Burch)

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Stranger, here you will do well to tarry; here our highest good is pleasure.