The night of love of the virgin of Phaestos
or Iphis metamorphosed into a boy


Life is soft in the country of Phaestos In the Island of Crete near the kingdom of Cnossos Over there where reigns the terrible Cronos The kings as much as the boors Wishes to marry their virgin daughter to the most valorous of the males Ligdus who has ambition, dreams of a boy And it is to his wife Telethusa that he transmits his request They loved each other for so many moons And they impatiently wait for the fruit of their union But it is a girl who is born, whose mother, To hide her true nature and to avoid the angers of Ligdus Dressed and raises as if it was a boy Iphis is her name When the day comes, Ligdus, impatient to marry Iphis Chooses the most beautiful of all the girls of Phaestos Ianthé, virgin and bearing a great name Daugther of Telestes of Dicte Will be the wife of his son Whom, he does not know the real condition Telethusa who fears this union Delays with crafts and lies, the day of the union Of the child with boy's clothings and with the attributes of a girl With the most virgin of the beauties of Phaestos She implores the goddess Isis to help her To modify the true nature of Iphis To lavish her with the necessary attributes to make her a boy The day when it will be necessary to love her That he unveil himself to the always virgin Ianthe But she cannot delay indefinitely the day of the hymenium And today her daughter Iphis disguised as a boy Take as a wife, the soft and beautiful Ianthe The prayers of Telethusa Having been useless to wake up the hidden powers of the goddess Isis Iphis in spite of the fact she is a girl Is not insensitive to the charms of Ianthe Having bathed in the games of boys She awaits with impatience the moment When she will have to slide her body of young girl Over the naked body of the virgin and beautiful Ianthe But her heart despite everything is disturbed " Among the animals, there is no female who is never in prey with the desire for another female." " Ianthe will become mine without being really united with me; we will know thirst in the middle of the ocean. O Hymenium, who govern marriage, what good is this union in the bridal bed where there is no husband, and where we are two wives? " That night on the peaceful country of Phaestos While the kings the boors and Ligdus fall asleep And that remorse invades the heart of Telethusa Begins the night of love of the virgins of Phaestos

Iphis with audacity undertakes Ianthe As if she knew since always The marvellous gestures of love Ianthe who hardly discovers them Let herself caress and love by the impetuous Iphis Without letting peep the least surprise In front of the feminine attributes of her husband

Their identical bodies meet and imbricate And the fury of their pressure does leave no doubt About the pleasure they lavish each other Without having to penetrate themselves And thus says Ianthe to herself That is what Love must be

Over there, in the country of Paretonium, of the fields of Mareotide, of Pharos and of the Nile Still dazed by the divine orgies Wakes up with sorrow, the great Goddess Isis Always late to fulfill the desires of Her sheeps She knows well that in spite of that They will be always faithful and docile to Her As must be all the subjects and the boors She decides to fulfill the desires of Telethusa And to transform into a boy, the beautiful and loving Iphis Always lengthened over the body in fright Of the beautiful and always virgin Ianthe of Phaestos And Iphis to gradually metamorphose herself into a boy Ianthe who is defenseless but who fear nothing more Feel her body suddenly transpierced by a powerful dart That draw off cries and tears from her While the fragile flesh of her hymen breaks Under the violence of the attacks of her husband She does not know any more if it is what Love should be Preferring to that, the more tender gestures Of the preliminaries of Love, before Iphis Less soft did decide to penetrate her With, she does not know too much, what monstrous instrument She repells Iphis with energy Trying to escape from the embrace of this lover Suddenly becoming virile and too undertaking She turns back to her mother to seek the comfort For a distracted virgin Of having been raped by a disgusting Satyr Ianthe since then, despised by her parents Took refuge in the island of Lesbos We see her sometimes on the shores of Methymne Lend her charms to the delirious Menades.

Marco Polo or the imaginary journey (Mythologies; translated august 2000) © 1999 Jean-Pierre Lapointe
Ovide, the metamorphosis, and the paintings of the great-masters, music by Yokubota.


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