To Aphrodite

Out of the sea
Resplendent in her nakedness
Rosy bosomed
Magnificent, golden ass
Redolent with heady perfumes
Hair like tow
Golden skin kissed by the sun
Rise, O Aphrodite
Raise the scepter high!
Make a pronouncement upon us
Declare this day
A day of love
An occasion for pleasure

Hear, O Muses, the tale of the love goddess
And the consequence of Ouranos’ sacrifice:
Without love, husband descended upon wife unwilling
Before love, both childbirth and its cause were misery
Unguided by love, Kronos sought power
And the blood of the Sky descended to the Sea
There, in the belly of Thalassa,
Hot blood mingled with salt water
The surface of the sea became turbulent,
White foam was upon the lips of the waves
The ocean currents were fitful
Until womanly face and limbs and breasts and buttocks
Complete and perfect
Longed to draw air

Then, with bitter, burning travail
The goddess fought her way to the surface of the water
Emerging with a gasp and a cry
Wet hair turned golden, tangled like kelp
Sea spirits helped her to the shore
Broad Gaia was still and quiet
Basking in her glow

Zeus loved the arts of Aphrodite
Hera fast befriended her
Over Hestia, Artemis and Athena she had no sway
But all the others delighted in her gifts
The honey-sweet fires of passion
Once tasted, forever desired

Hail to you, Aphrodite!
Hail to Love untamed!
Be near to us, Aphrodite,
Incline always to our prayers
And we shall sing for you another song.

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