Cupid Turned Stroller. - From Anacreon

A poem by Matthew Prior

At dead of night, when stars appear,
And strong Bootes turns the Bear,
When mortals sleep their cares away,
Fatigued with labours of the day,
Cupid was knocking at my gate;
Who's there, says I? who knocks so late,
Disturbs my dreams, and breaks my rest?
O fear not me, a harmless guest,
He said; but open, open pray;
A foolish child, I've lost my way,
And wander here this moonlight night,
All wet and cold, and wanting light.
With due regard his voice I heard,
Then rose, a ready lamp prepared,
And saw a naked boy below,
With wings, a quiver, and a bow:
In haste I ran, unlock'd my gate,
Secure and thoughtless of my fate;
I set the child an easy chair
Against the fire, and dried his hair;
Brought friendly cups of cheerful wine,
And warm'd his little hands with mine.
All this did I with kind intent;
Said, dearest Friend, this bow ye see,
This pretty bow, belongs to me:
Observe, I pray, if all be right,
I fear the rain has spoil'd it quite:
He drew it then, and straight I found
Within my breast a secret wound.
'Tis done, the rogue no longer staid,
But leapt away, and laughing said,
Kind host adieu, we now must part,
Safe is my bow, but sick thy heart.

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