Here is an excerpt from a poem by Valery Bryusov, a classic Russian writer:
Повлекутъ меня съ собой
Къ играмъ рыжіе силены;
Мы натѣшимся съ козой,
Гдѣ лужайку сжали стѣны.
Всѣмъ настанетъ череда
Выпить острый сокъ услады.
Лица скроютъ отъ стыда
Въ чащахъ бѣлыя дріады.
The poem is entitled "In hac lacrimarum valle" and is a part of Bryusov's book "Urbi et orbi," published in 1903. Here is a link to the corresponding page of the book: Page 65.
My question is this: What does "мы натѣшимся съ козой" mean in this poem?
The literal meaning seems to be, "We will have fun with a female goat," but I am unsure and also am highly puzzled as to what kind of fun could be implied. I do not know Russian idioms and subtleties of meanings of Russian words as good as native speakers do.
I am asking because a fellow student gave me this poem as evidence of prevalence of sexual perversity in Russia in that epoch, but I find it hard to believe what he says. It is a poem by a classic Russian writer, published in a book printed in Moscow in 1903. The book must have passed Tsarist censorship. At that time Russia was a highly religious country, and I think that if there had been anything pervert in the book, it would not have been openly published in Russia, in the first place. Moreover, Bryusov was a prominent figure in the literature world, and it is hard to believe that he would openly write any pervert things.
But I am really puzzled because the poem does appear to imply the pervert thing. In particular, this excerpt contains "лица скроютъ отъ стыда" ("they will hide their faces because of shame") and "выпить острый сокъ услады" ("to drink spicy juice of pleasure").
What adds to the mystery is that this particular line about a female goat caused the following responses by Russian writers:
Если взять стихотворение Брюсова «Мы натешимся с козой», то тут объект — коза, субъект — декадентский студент, а в общем — дрянь. (Vladimir Mayakovsky, link)
Пусть демоны измаялись в холере, твоя коза с тобою, мой Валерий (From "В море любви" by Innokenty Annensky, link)
А современная поэзия? - "Мы натешимся с козой, где поляну сжали скалы", а? Или же лучше - Крученых. А четвертьтоновая музыка? А живопись Давида Бурлюка? Ты забыл! Если в душе человека заложено "чувство прекрасного" - это обязывает. Пусть он нисколько не расположен "тешиться с козой", пусть живопись Бурдюка ему неприятна и даже противна. Но раз последняя глиняная собака Елизаветинской эпохи заняла свое место на полке - выбора нет. (From "Рассказы и очерки" by Georgy Ivanov, link)
I am puzzled as to why there have been such responses if there is nothing pervert in Bryusov poem. I am puzzled as to why the line about a female goat caught such attention by writers. And if the poem is pervert indeed, then I am puzzled as to how a classic Russian writer could so openly write and publish it.
I humbly hope that native speakers can shed light on this matter.