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And, if busy love entrenches,
There’s a sweet soft page of mine
Does the trick worth forty wenches
Earl of Rochester

Paederasty or Pederasty is a sexual relationship between an adult man and a boy. It was a socially acknowledged practice in Ancient Greece and Rome and elsewhere in the world, such as Pre-Meiji Japan.


  • Before your mouth was fringed with hair,
    All pricks might find a haven there.
    Till hangmen loathed a boy so common.
    And dead cart men preferred a woman.
    When gamahuche no longer paid.
    Your tongue was still your stock in trade,
    No more to suck, but to discharge
    Its venom on mankind at large;
    On character base slurs to fix.
    As once it had polluted pricks.
    Oh filthy tongue, you'd better far
    Be what you were than what you are!
    • Martial, Epigrams, 2, 61 ("On a Slanderer")
  • Labienus, each hair on your bosom that grows,
      On your arms, on your legs, with much trouble
    You shave, and your belly's appurtenance shews
      Like a newly mown field with its stubble,
    Thus blooming and sweet, as the breath of the morn.
      Your mistress entwines you, fond boy.
    But you've something behind, neatly shaven and shorn,
      That is scarcely a mistress's toy.
    • Martial, Epigrams, 2, 62 ("To Labienus")
  • Chrestus, though not two hairs your scrotum deck,
    Though your prick's softer than the vulture's neck,
    Though your mild face, effeminate smooth and plump,
    Rivals the Pathic's prostituted rump,
    And girlish in your hairless thighs and hips.
    Art hides all trace of manhood in your lips;
    You talk of deeds the great, and good, and bold
    Have done, with stern pomposity, and hold
    Forth on the vices that corrupt the age;
    But while this virtuous war on vice you wage,
    If some bright lad, who's just outgrown his school,
    While thoughts of freedom swell his youthful tool,
    Come up, you lead aside the sprightly boy,
    And when replete of what you most enjoy,
    Your Cato's tongue would never dare confess t' us,
    How very much you had behaved like Chrestus.
  • Here Jove is made a swan, a golden shower,
      Or seems a serpent, or a shepherd-swain,
    To work his amorous will in secret hour;
      Here, like an eagle, soars he o'er the plain,
    Love-led, and bears his Ganymede, the flower
      Of beauty, mid celestial peers to reign;
    The boy with cypress hath his fair locks crowned,
    Naked, with ivy wreathed his waist around.
  • Jove, slylie stealing from his sisters bed,
    To dallie with Idalian Ganimed,
  • Love a woman? You’re an ass!
      ’Tis a most insipid passion
    To choose out for your happiness
      The silliest part of God’s creation.
    Let the porter and the groom,
      Things designed for dirty slaves,
    Drudge in fair Aurelia’s womb
      To get supplies for age and graves.
    Farewell, woman! I intend
      Henceforth every night to sit
    With my lewd, well-natured friend,
      Drinking to engender wit.
    Then give me health, wealth, mirth, and wine,
      And, if busy love entrenches,
    There’s a sweet soft page of mine
      Does the trick worth forty wenches.
    • Earl of Rochester, "Song", Poems on Several Occasions (1680)
    • Variants: st. 1: "Y’are" or "Th’rt" for "You’re", "thy" for "your", "idlest" or "dullest" for "silliest"
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