HYMN TO VENUS
by: Francis Fawkes (1720-1777)
- ENUS, bright
goddess of the skies,
- To whom unnumbered temples rise,
- Jove's daughter fair, whose wily arts
- Delude fond lovers of their hearts;
- Oh, listen gracious to my prayer,
- And free my mind from anxious care.
- If e'er you heard my ardent vow,
- Propitious goddess, hear me now!
- And oft my ardent vow you heard,
- By Cupid's friendly aid preferred,
- Oft left the golden courts of Jove,
- To listen to my tales of love.
- The radiant car your sparrows drew;
- You gave the word, and swift they flew,
- Through liquid air they winged their way,
- I saw their quivering pinions play:
- To my plain roof they bore their queen,
- Of aspect wild, and look serene.
- Soon as you came by your command,
- Back flew the wantoned, feathered band,
- Then, with a sweet enchanting look,
- Divinely smiling, thus you spoke;
- "Why didst thou call me to thy cell?"
- "Tell me, my gentle Sappho, tell."
- "What healing medicine shall I find,
- "To cure thy love-distempered mind?
- "Say, shall I lend thee all my charms,
- "To win young Phaon to thy arms?
- "Or does some other swain subdue
- "Thy heart? my Sappho, tell me who?
- "Though now, averse, thy charms he flight,
- "He soon shall view thee with delight:
- "Though now he scorns thy gifts to take,
- "He soon to thee shall offerings make;
- "Though now thy beauties fail to move,
- "He soon shall melt with equal love."
- Once more, O Venus! hear my prayer,
- And ease my mind of anxious care;
- Again vouchsafe to be my guest,
- And calm this tempest in my breast!
- To THEE bright queen, my vows aspire;
- O grant me all my heart's desire!
POEMS BY FRANCIS FAWKES
"Hymn to Venus" is reprinted
from Poetica Erotica. Ed. T.R. Smith. New York: Crown