TO THE GODDESS IN ALL HER FORMS (AN INVOCATION)
FROM APULEIS'S GOLDEN ASS
Then I thought with my self that this was the most secret time, when that Godess had most puissance and force, considering that all human things be governed by her providence, and that not only all beasts private, and tame, wild and savage, be made strong by the governance of her light, and God Head, but also things inanimate, and without life, and I considered that all bodies in the heavens, the earth, and the seas, be by her increasing motions increased, and by her diminishing motions diminished.
Then as weary of all my cruel fortune, and calamity I found good hope, and sovereign remedy, though it were very late, to be delivered from my misery, by invocation and prayer to the excellent beauty of this powerful Godess.
Wherefore shaking off my drowsey sleep I arose with joyful face, and moved by a great affection to purifie myself, I plunged my head seven times into the water of the sea, which number seven is convenable and agreeable to the holy, and divine things, as the worthy and sage philosopher Pythagoras hath declared, then very lively, and joyfully, though with weeping countenance, I made this oration to the puissant Godess.
Oh blessed Queen of Heaven, wether thou be the Dame Ceres, which art the original, and Motherly sourse of all fruitfully things on earth, who after the finding of thy daughter Proserpine, through the great joy which thou did presently conceive, didst utterly take away, and abolish the food of them of the old time, the Acorn, and madest the barren, and unfruitful ground of Sleusis to be plowed, and swon, and now givest men, a more better and milder food.
Or wether thou be the Celestial Venus, who at the beggining of the world, didst couple together, male and female with engendered love, and so make an eternal propagation of human kind, being now worshipped within the Temple of the Isle Paphos, or wether thou be the sister of the God Phoebus, who has saved so many people by lightening, and lessening with thy medicines the pangs of travail and art now adored at the sacred places of Ephesus, or wether thou be called Terrible Proserpine by reason of the deadly howlings which thou yieldest, that has power with triple face to stop and put away the invasion of hags, and ghosts which appear unto men and keep them down in the closures of the earth, which dost wander in sundry groves, and art worshipped in divers manners.
Thou which dost illuminate all the cities of the earth by thy femine light, thou which nurishest all the seeds of the earth by thy damp heat, giving thy changing light according to the wandering near or far of the Sun.
By what soever name or fashion, or shape it is lawful to call upon thee, I pray thee to end my great travail and misery, and rise up my fallen hopes and deliver me from the wretched fortune, which so long time pursued me. Grant peace and rest if it please thee, to my adversities, for I have endured enough labor and peril ....