Another Imitation Of Anacreon

A poem by Jean de La Fontaine

PRONE, on my couch I calmly slept
Against my wont. A little child
Awoke me as he gently crept
And beat my door. A tempest wild
Was raging-dark and cold the night.
"Have pity on my naked plight,"
He begged, "and ope thy door." - "Thy name?"
I asked admitting him. - "The same
"Anon I'll tell, but first must dry
"My weary limbs, then let me try
"My mois'ened bow." - Despite my fear
The hearth I lit, then drew me near
My guest, and chafed his fingers cold.
"Why fear?" I thought. "Let me be bold
"No Polyphemus he; what harm
"In such a child? - Then I'll be calm!"
The playful boy drew out a dart,
Shook his fair locks, and to my heart
His shaft he launch'd. - "Love is my name,"
He thankless cried, "I hither came
"To tame thee. In thine ardent pain
"Of Cupid think and young Climene." -
"Ah! now I know thee, little scamp,
"Ungrateful, cruel boy! Decamp!"
Cupid a saucy caper cut,
Skipped through the door, and as it shut,
"My bow," he taunting cried, "is sound,
"Thy heart, poor comrade, feels the wound."

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