Masterpieces of Latin Literature: Terence: Lucretius: Catullus: Virgil: Horace: Tibullus: Propertius: Ovid: Petronius: Martial: Juvenal: Cicero: Caesar: Livy: Tacitus: Pliny the Younger: Apuleius; with Biographical Sketches and Notes

By Gordon Jennings Laing | Go to book overview
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INVOCATION TO VENUS1
(I., 1-43.)

MOTHER of the Aeneadae,2 darling of men and gods, increase-giving Venus, who beneath the gliding signs of heaven fillest with thy presence the ship-carrying sea, the corn-bearing lands, since through thee every kind of living things is conceived, rises up and beholds the light of the sun. Before thee, goddess, flee the winds, the clouds of heaven; before thee and thy advent; for thee earth manifold in works puts forth sweet-smelling flowers; for thee the levels, of the sea do laugh and heaven propitiated shines with outspread light. For soon as the vernal aspect of day is disclosed, and the birth favoring breath of favonius3 unbarred is blowing fresh, first the fowls of the air, O lady, shew signs of thee and thy entering in, thoroughly smitten in heart by thy power. Next the wild herds bound over the glad pastures and swim the rapid rivers: in such wise each made prisoner by thy charm follows thee with desire, whither thou goest to lead it on. Yes, throughout seas and mountains and sweeping rivers and leafy homes of birds and grassy plains, striking fond love into the breasts of all thou constrainest them each after its kind to continue their races with desire. Since thou then art sole mistress of the nature of things, and without thee nothing rises up into the divine borders of light, nothing grows to be glad or lovely, I would have thee for a helpmate in writing the verses which I essay to pen on the nature

____________________
Venus is invoked as the procreative power in nature.
2
The Romans. According to legend Aeneas, son of Venus, was the founder of the Roman race.
The west wind.

-66-

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Masterpieces of Latin Literature: Terence: Lucretius: Catullus: Virgil: Horace: Tibullus: Propertius: Ovid: Petronius: Martial: Juvenal: Cicero: Caesar: Livy: Tacitus: Pliny the Younger: Apuleius; with Biographical Sketches and Notes
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