Friday, October 21, 2011


It's Friday here and I've realized that I have not given enough love to Love Herself, Venus. On my recent trip to the Met I perused the Cyprus collection and really paid attention to the Venus statues and votives there, as well as the ones in the rest of the collections.

So here's an offering to Venus, my Libra patron, in the words of Sappho:

A Hymn to Venus
by: Sappho (c. 610-570 B.C.)
translated by Ambrose Philips

O Venus, beauty of the skies,
To whom a thousand temples rise,
Gaily false in gentle smiles,
Full of love-perplexing wiles;
O goddess, from my heart remove
The wasting cares and pains of love.

If ever thou hast kindly heard
A song in soft distress preferred,
Propitious to my tuneful vow,
A gentle goddess, hear me now.
Descend, thou bright immortal guest,
In all thy radiant charms confessed.

Thou once didst leave almighty Jove
And all the golden roofs above:
The car thy wanton sparrows drew,
Hovering in air they lightly flew;
As to my bower they winged their way
I saw their quivering pinions play.

The birds dismissed (while you remain)
Bore back their empty car again:
Then you, with looks divinely mild,
In every heavenly feature smiled,
And asked what new complaints I made,
And why I called you to my aid?

What frenzy in my bosom raged,
And by what cure to be assuaged?
What gentle youth I would allure,
Whom in my artful toils secure?
Who does thy tender heart subdue,
Tell me, my Sappho, tell me who?

Though now he shuns thy longing arms,
He soon shall court thy slighted charms;
Though now thy offerings he despise,
He soon to thee shall sacrifice;
Though now he freezes, he soon shall burn,
And be thy victim in his turn.

Celestial visitant, once more
Thy needful presence I implore.
In pity come, and ease my grief,
Bring my distempered soul relief,
Favour thy suppliant's hidden fires,
And give me all my heart desires.

I feel her more, I think, as The Lady of Roses. Interesting that Etruscan Turan, who syncretizes with Venus, is Goddess of gardens, among other things. I've never been the greenest thumb, but I did plant roses for Her this past summer. Let's see how they fare in the spring!

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