O venerable goddess, hear my pray'r,
For labour pains are thy peculiar care;
in thee, when stretch'd upon the bed of grief,
The sex as in a mirror view relief.
Guard of the race, endued with gentle mind, 5
To helpless youth, benevolent and kind;
Benignant nourisher; great Nature's key
Belongs to no divinity but thee.
Thou dwell'st with all immanifest to sight,
And solemn festivals are thy delight. 10
Thine is the talk to loose the virgin's zone,
And thou in ev'ry work art seen and known.
With births you sympathize, tho' pleas'd to see
The numerous offspring of fertility;
When rack'd with nature's pangs and sore distress'd, 15
The sex invoke thee, as the soul's sure rest;
For thou alone can'st give relief to pain,
Which art attempts to ease, but tries in vain;
Assisting goddess, venerable pow'r,
Who bring'st relief in labour's dreadful hour; 20
Hear, blessed Dian, and accept my pray'r,
And make the infant race thy constant care.
114:* An epithet of Diana's, alluding to her presiding over gates, and being as it were the gate-keeper of life. It is remarkable that the first of these Hymns should be addressed to the goddess who ushers in our existence, and the last to Death. This certainly proves the collection is complete.