Cupid Mistaken

A poem by Matthew Prior

As after noon, one summer's day,
Venus stood bathing in a river;
Cupid a-shooting went that way,
New strung his bow, new fill'd his quiver.

With skill he chose his sharpest dart:
With all his might his bow he drew:
Swift to his beauteous parent's heart
The too well-guided arrow flew.

I faint! I die! the Goddess cry'd:
O cruel, could'st thou find none other,
To wreck thy spleen on? Parricide!
Like Nero, thou hast slain thy mother.

Poor Cupid sobbing scarce could speak;
Indeed, Mamma, I did not know ye:
Alas! how easy my mistake?
I took you for your likeness, Cloe.

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