Prayer to Aphrodite

Oh Faith! How soon I'll need your reassuring hand.
My heart stops and my limbs are dull with trembling weight.
Where many a boy of fifteen stood, soon I will stand,
A man of twenty-four, and hardly less afraid.

It is not Death, but it could be the end of me
If, choosing wrong, I chain myself to some false bliss
Which turns to mourning and enslavement when I see
The spider's guile behind deceitful woman's kiss.

I pray you, Aphrodite, spare your crown of thorns,
But give me love which makes me weep and swoon for joy.
For this, I would forsake my pride, brave bitter storms,
For one true love which Time and Fate could not destroy.

It is a prize that all men crave and few will find,
The Dionysian liquor to bring ecstasy
Into the Apollonian's stern, ascetic mind.
What man would ask for less than Life's totality?

George Chadderdon © 1995