And fair Venus the bewtie of the nicht
Uprais and set unto the west full richt
Hir goldin face, in oppositioun
Of god Phebus, direct discending doun.
So wrote the Scots poet Robert Henryson sometime in the 15th century*. Venus may shine in the early morning or the evening. Other times hiding herself away entirely. But these last weeks Henryson’s vision of her has been brilliantly apparent, so I try here an ‘englyn writ in English’**
Splendour of the evening sky – each night now
A lamp blazing high
Above a fading horizon
Sunlight caught in her bright eye.
*The Testament of Cresseid
** As Waldo Williams put it. But there is no cynghanedd here.