~Hymn and Invocation of Aphrodite ~

Pic by Edison

Hymn and Invocation of Aphrodite
~ By Apollonius Sophistes

Oh Muse! With visions Thou hast filled my soul, With visions overpowering, for Thou Hast shown me Golden Aphrodite; now The blaze emboldens me; like coal To brighter burning fanned by Breath Divine, The Cyprian enflameth me with words, Seductive sounds, which swiftly would entwine

My soul, as lime-twigs trap unwary birds. An Ancient Poet* spake the truth; he said When Cypris cometh swift, high-spirited Just like a Hero -- irresistible

Her onslaught, nor may anyone annul Her summons; flouting Her is arrogance, A failure to respect the difference `Tween Gods and Mortals; nor can even They Resist Her Power. She is held at bay By only three: Athena, Bright-Eyed Maid, And Artemis, who haunts both wood and glade, And Hestia reject the Paphian's Dove,

For They alone deny delights of Love. The Cyprian's summons is a challenge. Be Thou brave and answer it, for verily A God hath willed it; surely stinging grief Will be refusal's price, so seek relief, Conforming to the Paphian's Will. So spake the Poet Truths he would instill.

Far-shining Aphrodite, hear our prayer! Thou Laughter-loving Lady, Paphian, Well-girded, Golden, Sea-born, Cyprian, Companion, Tender-hearted, or howe'er It pleaseth Thee to be addressed, attend, We ask, our words of praise, and send Thy Grace, because Thou art the source of all That's charming, graceful, all that doth enthrall In word or deed, in action, figure, face. For Thine is the allure that doth enlace Our hearts as one, for as the charmed is bound, So also is the charmer quickly found Surrendering, with yearning undisguised, The compromiser gladly compromised!

But irresistible is even this, Seducer falling to seduction; bliss Repaid is twofold bliss, drawing tight The bonds about them both, in shared delight.

Now I call in ancient sounds: Aphrodite Khrusostephane Glukumeilikh' O he Kalligloute Thea Pandeme Hetaira su Morpho,

Or whatever name doth please Thee, Hear! If ever I've appeased Thee, Now attend my prayer beseeching, See my hands toward Thee reaching, Know my love is everlasting! Lady, grant the gift I'm asking And appear before us, whether Now sojourning deep in Nether Regions with the Queen of Hades, Or in Heaven with Thy Ladies, Founts of all allure, the Graces, Fair Their form and fair Their faces! I request Thee, leave Thy station! Grant to us a visitation!

Show to us Thy face delightful! Let us worship Thee as rightful, Shapely form that's Thine adoring! Hear our voices now upsoaring

To the Heavens from our chorus! Please, we ask Thee, stand before us! Queen of Twilight, Queen of Morning! Deeds just done or now aborning Are Thy favorites; prized the clever Warrior of the bold endeavor! Dear to Thee the Sun that's rising, Thou reward for enterprising Souls, Thou prize of tasks completed, Thou in rivalry entreated

To bestow Thy grace, advising, Bold advances galvanizing! Such Thy gift and such Thy favor, Bounty for the bolder, braver. Source of charm in words and faces, Propagating species, races, With desire their hearts entwining, Thou in starry splendor shining, Aphrodite, hear us calling! Show to us Thy Form enthralling! Golden Goddess, we beseech Thee, Stretch our arms, and long to reach Thee!

Shining Star of Heaven, hear us! We implore Thee, come Thou near us!

Hear our holy hymn rejoicing And Thy praises loudly voicing! Shining Star of Heaven, hear us! We beseech Thee, come Thou near us! See our faces toward Thee turning! Feel the flames within us burning! Shining Star of Heaven, hear us!

We beseech Thee, come Thou near us! Show Thy features! Hold us Spellbound! Come Thou Lady, Goddess, Gold-crowned, Merciful and Mighty, Laughter-loving Aphrodite!

A shining star! It's streaking through the skies, Descending earthward, dazzling to my eyes. A vision riseth, showing through the glare, A scene of beauty, overwhelming, rare. I see Her temple standing by the shore of Cypris, glistening marble walls and floor Reflected in the rippling water, stark Against the sacred grove's deep green, and dark

The columns flanking there the open door, Through which, in the serene interior, I see Her Holy Harlots, standing there, Devoted to their Goddess, eagerly to share The Gifts of Aphrodite; there's no shame To sharing Love's embraces in Her name.

Below the sea appeareth now a light That gloweth green, as when a candle bright Behind an emerald burns. The sea is churned With froth and foam; a figure is discerned Arising from the depths, a Form Divine, The Cyprian, approaching on the brine. She cometh quickly, skimming over wave And water; such a scene we would engrave

Upon our hearts forever. Steppeth She From off the cockle shell; our earnest plea Was heard. Now look upon the Golden One, Attractiveness without comparison Is Hers; embodied beauty is Her gift, Whatever form doth most the heart uplift.

O gracious Muse, bestow on me, I pray, The words to do Her justice, nor betray The Goddess of all Beauty, Charm and Grace, Whate'er attracts in action, word or face!

Before us, confident in Her control, She standeth proudly, bright eyes piercing, soul Enflaming, nor denying Her allure, In Works of Love unbashful and secure. Our admiration's obvious; a smile

Doth part Her lips, and turneth She awhile Before our gaze -- but slippeth now Her gown, The strap upon Her shoulder falling down So naked now from nape to arm we see The swelling of Her chest, that like the sea

Doth rise and fall in measured rate, And both the heart and eyes doth captivate. As She approacheth with a careful stride I see a tremor that doth coincide

With ev'ry step, beneath Her gossamer Attire, a motion unmistakable, A lure She knows is inescapable. The Paphian, stopping in our steady gaze, With insolent eyes accepteth all our praise. Her hip out-thrust, She standeth there, Her brazen posture an unspoken dare To us. I watch Her naked arm draw back The folds, exposing bare Her side, no lack

Of satin skin to see, so taut around Her hip; transfixed by this, I'm held spell-bound. Far more than mortal eyes can comprehend Are sights like these I see. A friend Indeed is Aphrodite, showing us Embodied beauty, a gift most generous. A drifting cloud now comes across the scene; The vision fades, dissolving into mist. But though the Goddess can't be seen, We feel Her presence; having once been kissed

By Her and gazed in rapture at Her face, We know the worth of Elegance and Grace, Nor ever will forget it; t'ward Beauty too We're urged, and Joy that doth the Soul renew. We thank Thee Goddess for Thy welcome gifts, For pleasures and delights, all that lifts Us up to Ecstasy, for they are Thine. We pray Thy liberal Love may always shine

On us, may always rouse our spirits, spur Us on to seek whatever's lovelier. And if my poem hath appealed to Thee, I pray that kindly would Thou look on me.