Sacred Texts  Women  Index  Previous  Next 




The Hymn of Aphrodite 1


I AM the dawn, daughter of heaven and of the deep: the sea-mist covers my beauty with a veil of tremulous light.

2. I am Aphrodite, the sister of Phoibos, opener of heaven's gates, the beginning of wisdom, the herald of the perfect day.

3. Long had darkness covered the deep: the soul of all things slumbered: the valleys were filled with shadows: only the mountains and the stars held commune together.

4. There was no light on the ways of the earth: the rolling world moved outward on her axe 2: gloom and mystery shrouded the faces of the Gods.

5. Then from out the deep I arose, dispeller of night: the firmament of heaven kindled with joy beholding me.

6. The secrets of the waters were revealed: the eyes of Zeus looked down into the heart thereof.

7. Ruddy as wine were the depths: the raiment of earth was transfigured; as one arising from the dead She arose, full of favour and grace.


8. Of God and the soul is love born: in the silence of twilight; in the mystery of sleep.

9. In the fourth dimension of space; in the womb of the heavenly principle; in the heart of the man of God,--there is love enshrined.

10. Yea, I am before all things: desire is born of me: I impel the springs of life inward unto God: by me the earth and heavens are drawn together.

11. But I am hidden until the time of the day's appearing: I lie beneath the waters of the sea, in the deeps of the soul: the bird

p. 165

of night seeth me not, the herds in the valleys, nor the wild goat in the cleft of the hill.

12. As the fishes of the sea am I covered: I am secret and veiled from sight as the children of the deep.

13. That which is occult hath the fish for a symbol; for the fish is hidden in darkness and silence: he knoweth the secret places of the earth, and the springs of the hollow sea.

14. Even so love reacheth to the uttermost: so find I the secrets of all things; having my beginning and my end in the Wisdom of God.

15. The Spirit of Counsel is begotten in the soul; even as the fish in the bosom of the waters.

16. From the sanctuary of the deep love ariseth: salvation is of the sea.


17. I am the crown of manifold births and deaths: I am the interpreter of mysteries and the enlightener of souls.

18. In the elements of the body is love imprisoned: lying asleep in the caves of Iacchos; in the crib of the oxen of Demeter.[S]

19. But when the day-star of the soul ariseth over the earth, then is the epiphany of love.

20. Therefore until the labour of the third day be fulfilled, the light of love is unmanifest.

21. Then shall I unlock the gates of dawn; and the glory of God shall ascend before the eyes of men.


22. The secret of the angel Anael is at the heart of the world: the "Song of God" is the sound of the stars in their courses.

23. O love, thou art the latent heat of the earth; the strength of the wine; the joy of the orchard and the cornfield: thou art the spirit of song and laughter, and of the desire of life.

24. By thee, O goddess, pure-eyed and golden, the sun and the moon are revealed: love is the counsellor of heaven.

25. Cloud and vapour melt before thee: thou unveilest to earth the rulers of the immeasurable skies.

26. Thou makest all things luminous: thou discoverest all deeps;

p. 166

27. From the womb of the sea to the heights of heaven; from the shadowy abyss to the throne of the Lord.

28. Thy beloved is as a ring-dove, wearing the ensign of the spirit, and knowing the secrets thereof.

29. Fly, fly, O Dove; the time of spring cometh; in the far east the dawn ariseth; she hath a message for thee to bear from earth to heaven![T]


A Discourse of the Communion of Soules, and of the Uses of Love between Creature and Creature: being Part of the Goldene Booke of Venus. 1

1. Herein is Love's Secret, and the Mysterie of the Communion of Saintes.

2. Love redeemeth, Love lifteth up, Love enlighteneth, Love advanceth Soules.

3. Love dissolveth not, neither forgetteth; for she is of the Soule and hath everlasting Remembrance.

4. Verilie Love is doubly blessed; for She enricheth both Giver and Receiver.

5. Thou who lovest givest of thyself to thy Beloved, and he is dowered withal.

6. And if any Creature whom thou lovest suffereth Death and departeth from thee;

7. Fain wouldst thou give of thine Heartes Blood to have him live always; to sweeten the Changes before him, or to lift him to some happie Place.

S. Thou droppest teares on the broken Body of thy Beloved; thy Desire goeth after him, and thou criest unto his Ghoste,--

9. "O Dearest! would God that I might be with thee where now thou art, and know what now thou doest!

10. "Would God that I might still guard and protect thee; that I might defend thee from all Pain, and Wrong, and Affliction!

p. 167

11. "But what Manner of Change is before thee I know not; neither can mine Eyes follow thy Steppes.

12. "Many are the Lives set before thee, and the Yeares, O Beloved, are long and weary that shall part us!

13. "Shall I knowe thee again when I see thee, and will the Spirit of God say to thee in that day, 'This is thy Beloved'?

14. "O Soule of my Soule! would God I were one with thee, even though it were in death!

15. "Thou hast all of my Love, my Desire, and my Sorrowe; yea, my Life is mingled with thine, and is gone forth with thee!

16. "Visit me in Dreames; comfort me in the Night-watches; let my Ghoste meet thine in the Land of Shadows and of Sleep!

17. "Every nighte with fervent Longing will I seek thee; Persephone and Slumber shall give me back the Past.

18. "Yea, Death shall not take thee wholly from me; for Part of me is in thee, and where thou goest, Dearest, there my Hearte followeth!"

19. So weepest thou and lamentest, because the Soul thou lovest is taken from thy Sight.

20. And Life seemeth to thee a Bitter Thing; yea, thou cursest the Destiny of all living Creatures.

21. And thou deemest thy Love of no Avail, and thy Teares as idle Droppes.

22. Behold, Love is a Ransome, and the Teares thereof are Prayeres.

23. And if thou have lived purely, thy fervent Desire shall be counted Grace to the Soule of thy Dead.

24. For the burning and continual Prayere of the juste availeth much.

25. Yea, thy Love shall enfold the Soule which thou lovest; it shall be unto him a wedding Garment and a Vesture of Blessing.

26. The Baptisme of thy Sorrowe shall baptize thy Dead, and he shall rise because of it.

27. Thy Prayeres shall lift him up, and thy Teares shall encompasse his Steppes; thy Love shall be to him a Light shining upon the upward Waye.

28. And the Angels of God shall say unto him, "O happie Soule, that art so well beloved; that art made so strong with all these Teares and Sighs.

29. "Praise the Father of Spirits therefor, for this great Love shall save thee many Incarnations.

p. 168

30. "Thou art advanced thereby; thou art drawn aloft and carried upward by Cordes of Grace."

31. For in such wise do Soules profit one another and have Communion, and receive and give Blessing, the Departed of the Living, and the Living of the Departed.

32. And so much the more as the Hearte within them is clean, and the Waye of their Intention is innocent in the Sight of God.

33. Yea, the Saint is a strong Redeemer; the Spirit of God striveth within him.

34. And God withstandeth not God; for Love and God are One.

35. As the Love of Christ hath Power with the Elect, so hath Power in its degree the Love of a Man for his Friend.

36. Yea, though the Soule beloved be little and mean, a Creature not made in the Likenesse of Men.

37. For in the eyes of Love there is nothing little nor poor, nor unworthy of Prayere.

38. O little Soule, thou art mighty if a Child of God love thee; yea, poor and simple Soule, thou art possessed of great Riches.

39. Better is thy Portion than the Portion of Kings whom the Curse of the Oppressed pursueth.

40. For as Love is strong to redeem and to advance a Soule, so is Hatred strong to torment and to detain.

41. Blessed is the Soule whom the Juste commemorate before God; for whom the Poor and the Orphan and the dumb Creature weep.

42. And thou, O Righteous Man, that with burning Love bewailest the Death of the Innocent, whom thou canst not save from the Hands of the Unjuste;

43. Thou who wouldst freely give of thine own Blood to redeem thy Brother and to loosen the Bonds of his Paine;

44. Know that in the Hour of thy supreme Desire, God accepteth thine Oblation.

45. And thy Love shall not return unto thee! empty; according to the Greatnesse of her Degree, she shall accomplish thy Will.

46. And thy Sorrowe and Teares, and the Travaile of thy Spirit, shall be Grace and Blessing to the Soule thou wouldst redeem.

47. Count not as lost thy Suffering on behalf of other Soules; for every Cry is a Prayere, and all Prayere is Power.

48. That thou willest to do is done; thine Intention is united to the Will of Divine Love.

p. 169

49. Nothing is lost of that which thou layest out for God and for thy Brother.

50. And it is Love alone who redeemeth, and Love hath nothing of her own.


164:1 Home, September 19, 1884. Received in sleep. Referred to in Life of Anna Kingsford, vol. ii, pp. 213-216.

164:2 An obsolete word for axis.

166:1 Printed as read [in sleep, on the night of March 15, 1881] in a book in German text, found in a chamber purporting to be the laboratory of William Lilly, the astrologer (17th century), to which the seeress had been introduced by her genius in sleep for the purpose of having her horoscope told. Failing to recover the whole of the poem on the first attempt to write it down, she sought and obtained access to the book again on the following night.    E. M.

Referred to in Life of Anna Kingsford, vol. ii, pp. 1-3.

Next: No. XV: Lambda, Or The Last Of The Gods; Being The Secret Of Satan