Mother of Aeneas and his race, darling of men andVenus, aid me in my work gods, nurturing Venus,a who beneath the smooth-moving heavenly signs fill with yourself the sea fullladen with ships, the earth that bears the crops, since through you every kind of living thing is conceived and rising up looks on the light of the sun: from you, O goddess, from you the winds flee away, the clouds of heaven from you and your coming; for you the wonder-working earth puts forth sweet flowers, for you the wide stretches of ocean laugh, and heaven grown peaceful glows with outpoured light. For as soon as the vernal face of day is made manifest, and the breeze of the teeming west wind blows fresh and free, first the fowls of the air proclaim you, divine one, and your advent, pierced to the heart by your might. Next wild creatures and farm animals dance over the rich pastures and swim across rapid rivers: so greedily does each one follow you, held captive by your charm,
- aVenus in this invocation is a figure of extraordinary complexity: as well as being the goddess of traditional religion and mythology who was mother of Aeneas and the Roman people, who was loved by Mars, and who appears on the coins of the gens Memmia, she is the Empedoclean principle of Love (as opposed to Mars = Strife), representing the creative forces in the world, and she is the personification of the Epicurean summum bonum, pleasure (voluptas). Lucr. addresses her not only as the power of physical creation, but also as the giver of charm to his poetry (21–28). Spenser imitates 1–25 in The Faerie Queene 4.10.44–47.