William Shenstone

(1714 - 1763 / England)

Anacreontic Poem by William Shenstone


'Twas in a cool Aonian glade,
The wanton Cupid, spent with toil,
Had sought refreshment from the shade,
And stretch'd him on the mossy soil.

A vagrant Muse drew nigh, and found
The subtle traitor fast asleep;
And is it thine to snore profound,
She said, yet leave the world to weep?

But hush!-from this auspicious hour
The world, I ween, may rest in peace,
And, robb'd of darts, and stript of power,
Thy peevish petulance decrease.

Sleep on, poor Child! whilst I withdraw,
And this thy vile artillery hide-
When the Castalian fount she saw,
And plunged his arrows in the tide.

That magic fount,ill-judging maid,
Shall cause you soon to curse the day
You dared the shafts of Love invade,
And gave his arms redoubled sway.

For in a stream so wondrous clear,
When angry Cupid searches round,
Will not the radiant points appear?
Will not the furtive spoils be found?

Too soon they were; and every dart.
Dipt in the Muse's mystic spring,
Acquired new force to wound the heart,
And taught at once to love and sing.

Then farewell, ye Pierian quire!
For who will now your altars throng?
From Love we learn to swell the lyre,
And Echo asks no sweeter song.

Submitted: Monday, April 19, 2010

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