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Hymn to Venus
Delicate Goddess of Love

O gentle tips of camellias,
perfumed and filling the air with sweetness
Blue veins in the tips of fragile petals,
and the temples of young virgins
Clover honey and honeysuckle nectar,
Unfound yet by desirous bees
New ripeness and joy I offer you,
that you may hear me.

Light as the foam upon the deep ocean
I worship you, Venus, in your many forms.
Curved as the many shells which line beaches and shores
Gentle as the doves which coo and play together in the skies
Coy as a young coquette, blushing before her mirror
Merry as maidens about to play a trick on their beloved
Sweet as new lust and love, beneath the willows by the river
Rippling as laughter, being chased and caught and again escaping.

I worship your statues, at noon and early evening
With baskets of fruit and roses, and scented candles
You smile at me from within their buds,
from the waters of their fluted vases,
from the centers of ripe melons
I see your gentle laughter and mocking smile whenever I turn my head

Come, look down upon your devotee and worshiper
Who loves you for all of the trouble you get into
Who tries earnestly to help you
As you laugh, and it all disappears.
I try clumsily to play with you in your delicate games
Though my lightest, feathery thought is as heavy as a stone before you.

Do not punish me with loss of your presence
The coldness, the lack of laughter, the tears of loneliness
Do not leave me to fulfill the endless tasks of life
Without reason or joy
Do not make me a sage, wise and yet alone.

Only make me your voice, your servant, your footstool
That I may bask in your joyful presence forever
Gathering flowers and strewing them
Laughing and roaming through city and countryside
Offering to all that I meet
Your gentle, mocking love.

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