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Venus de Milo

 




Prayers to Venus:

O blessed Queen of Heaven, celestial Venus, who in the beginning of the world did join all kinds of things with an engendered love, by an eternal propagation of life, now worshipped within the Temple of the Isle of Paphos; You who is worshipped in diverse manners, and does illuminate all the borders of the earth by Your feminine shape, You which nourishes all the fruits of the world by Your vigor and force; with whatsoever name or fashion it is lawful to call upon You, I pray You end my great travail and misery, and deliver me from the wretched fortune, which has for so long a time pursued me. Grant peace and rest if it please You to reply to my entreaties, for I have endured too much labor and peril.

Apuleius Metamorphoses 11.2

Venus Genetrix, charmer of gods and mankind, nurturing Mother, beneath the starry signs that glide through the night, You enliven the ship-bearing seas and the fruitful earth, since it is through You that all things are conceived and animated into life to behold the Light of Day. Goddess, for You the winds make way, the heavenly clouds open at Your coming, the miraculous earth greets You with sweet scented flowers, for You the surface of the seas laugh, and the peaceful heavens glisten in luminescence.

Lucretius De Rerum Natura 1.1-9

Come to us Venus, O Queen of Cnidos and Paphos, leave Cyprus, though the isle is dear to You, come instead to where the incense is thick and Glycera sings to You, that you may transfer Your home to a new shrine among us. Bring along for Your company desirous Cupid, loose- girdled Graces and Nymphs, youthful Juventus and Mercury, who without You are graceless.

Horcae Carmina 1.30.1-8

Hymn to Venus:

Heavenly, illustrious, laughter-loving queen,
Sea-born, night-loving, of an awful mien;
Crafty, from whom necessity first came,
Producing, nightly, all-connecting dame:
'Tis thine the world with harmony to join,
For all things spring from thee, O power divine.
The triple Fates are ruled by thy decree,
And all productions yield alike to thee:
Whatever the heavens, encircling all contain,
Earth fruit-producing, and the stormy main,
Thy sway confesses, and obeys thy nod,
Awful attendant of the brumal God:
Goddess of marriage, charming to the sight,
Mother of Loves, whom banquetings delight;
Source of persuasion, secret, favoring queen,
Illustrious born, apparent and unseen:
Spousal, lupercal, and to men inclined,
Prolific, most-desired, life-giving, kind:
Great sceptre-bearer of the Gods, 'tis thine,
Mortals in necessary bands to join;
And every tribe of savage monsters dire
In magic chains to bind, through mad desire.
Come, Cyprus-born, and to my prayer incline,
Whether exalted in the heavens you shine,
Or pleased in Syria's temple to preside,
Or over the Egyptian plains thy car to guide,
Fashioned of gold; and near its sacred flood,
Fertile and famed to fix thy blest abode;
Or if rejoicing in the azure shores,
Near where the sea with foaming billows roars,
The circling choirs of mortals, thy delight,
Or beauteous nymphs, with eyes cerulean bright,
Pleased by the dusty banks renowned of old,
To drive thy rapid, two-yoked car of gold;
Or if in Cyprus with thy mother fair,
Where married females praise thee every year,
And beauteous virgins in the chorus join,
Adonis pure to sing and thee divine;
Come, all-attractive to my prayer inclined,
For thee, I call, with holy, reverent mind.

Orphic Hymn
Translation by Thomas Taylor


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