Beautiful Eros, ever-young, ever-fair,
your eyes, so dark, so ancient, pierce the soul
as your golden darts pierce the heart. Light-hearted god,
teacher of harsh lessons, giver of precious gifts,
through you do we find our best selves, through you do we show
our worst faces; if ever we are good and decent,
if ever we are greedy and cruel, it will be
for the sake of love and desire. In your realm,
sharp-shafted Eros, do we show ourselves true.
Before you, O Eros, we are all weak, and all strong.
Eros, ancient one whose might it was that brought life
into being, capricious one whose gift it is
to fire the hearts of gods and men with lust and love,
I call out to you. Eros, master of desire,
bearer of the bow, your golden shafts you shoot,
so swift, so sharp, we barely feel the prick.
Eros, your blessings I have known; I know their worth.
They are a treasure, precious and true. Eros,
grant to me your sweet misery, the yearning
and the need that drive mankind, that bring us
together again and again. Strike me
with your dart, O Eros, make of me your mark.
Eros, ancient one, youthful one, holder of souls,
opener of hearts, you give and take with the same
spirit, the same fury, the same deft hand. Eros,
child of passion, driving force of the universe,
yours is the face of desire, yours the strength of love,
in you we see the world as once it was, in you
we hear the voice of lovers joined as one. Eros,
child of chaos, brother of sweet harmony,
yours is the cord that binds our lives together,
yours the scourge that drives us where our bodies lead,
in you we find purpose, in you we seek solace.
Eros, in my blood and my tears I know you,
in my pulse I feel your might, your call to life
above all. I thank you for your many blessings.
Eros, bright-winged god, I open my heart to you.
Born of chaos, first out of the void, you entered
the world and all became yours. Child of love and strife,
fairest among the deathless gods, dear companion
of golden Aphrodite, your power touches us all.
Eros, beautiful one, compelling one, your charm
and grace are surpassed by none; your hand is in our lives,
so subtle, so plain, so devious and demanding.
The course of love is never smooth, this we all know;
creation is a noisy, disorderly thing
and harmony is a long, slow process; love too,
O Eros, shifts and wavers, balance is fleeting,
and two hearts meet, for mere moments only, and yet
that is enough. Eros, raging inspiration
of lovers and poets, swift-shooting one whose aim
is without flaw, whose prey is forever changed;
Eros, who sets alight the desires of men,
who overwhelms reason, who conquers all wisdom,
whose might renders weak the strong and the steadfast,
I praise your name, I thank you for your many gifts.
I call to Eros, ancient one, child of chaos,
child of love and of strife, kin of the deep earth,
companion of laughter-loving Aphrodite.
Eros, confounding one, fleet-footed bearer
of shafts so sharp we scarcely feel the prick,
and yet no cut do we feel so deeply. Eros,
in Thespia and in Parios were you much honored;
in all the lands did men and women speak your name
with hope and reverence, burning sweet incense
and pouring out wine. All know your might, O Eros;
all know the barbs of your blessed darts, all know
the pain of such a wound; and all would sooner
be your prey than seek to dodge your bolt. Eros,
granter of the dearest gifts, clouder of senses,
piercer of hearts, loosener of limbs, I call to you.