“A Hymn to Venus, in Imitation of Sappho”
Venus, Queen of tender Fires,
Pleasing pains and soft Desires;
Sweet Enslaver of the Heart,
Here thy gentle Aid impart;
To my mourning Soul give Ease, 5
And I bid my soft Complainings cease.
Hither beauteous Goddess move,
Leave a while th’ Idalian Grove;
Once more to my transported Breast,
Come a mild, a grateful Guest; 10
There confirm thy pleasing Reign,
Free from Cares, and free from Pain.
Oh! if e’er my artless Strains,
By Thee inspired, breath’d thy Pains;
Propitious now thy Suppliant hear, 15
And grant a Lover’s ardent Pray’r?
Ah! let me not despairing mourn,
But meet a kind, a wish’d Return.
Make Philander feel my Pow’r,
Fear my Scorn, my Smiles adore, 20
Let the dear Deceiver know,
All the Pains he can bestow:
To me that valued Heart resign,
And fix my lovely Wand’rer mine.
Title Venus “The ancient Roman goddess of beauty and love” (OED); Sappho (c.610-570 BCE) A Greek lyric poet who was born on the island of Lesbos, famous for her writing style (Encyclopedia Britannica).
8 Idalian “Belonging or relating to the ancient town of Idalium in Cyprus,” where, in the Roman tradition, Venus was worshipped (OED).
13 Strains Poetry.
15 Propitious “Disposed to be favourable; gracious; merciful, lenient” (OED); Suppliant “ A person who makes a humble or earnest plea to another, esp. to a person in power or authority” (OED).
19 Philander “ Chiefly poetic,…a male sweetheart” (OED).
Source: Poems on Several Occasions. Written by a Young Lady (London, 1747), pp. 13-14. [Google Books]
Edited by Andrea Cruz