Hymn to Flora
Fairest of all Rome’s goddesses is Flora,
whom the maidens hymn in the countryside
when the days grow long and winter’s chill is driven from the land.
Eternally young with cheeks like roses
and hair the color of daffodils fresh from the earth;
she is the brightly crowned mother of flowers,
companion of bountiful Ceres and the light-hearted Graces.
When she speaks, her lovely lips breathe spring roses into bloom
and where her gentle feet fall
rise violets, clover and fragrant thyme.
Beloved of all the gods is she,
for her nimble fingers weave the holy garlands they wear
and the sweet herbs that adorn their altars are her gracious gift.
But no heart is filled with greater love for her
than that of wingéd Favonius, her dear husband,
who wooed her in the land of the Sabines
and strokes the moist petals with his potent breeze.
They lie in a soft bed of foliage, sharing lingering kisses,
while the young girls dance and pluck
the flowers they’ll award the handsomest suitor
come the goddess’ joyous festal day.
So remember her well,
and she will bless your garden
with fruitful tress, bees drunk on pollen
and colorful beauty beyond compare.
by Neve Antheus
Hail Flora Mater!
Mother of Blossoms
Our Lady of the Flowers
in the games of Floralia
and the Riots of May
Mistress of all that
blooms, fruits, withers, decays
Ave Flora! Ave Ave!