Mary Darby Robinson

(1758 - 1800 / England)

Cupid Sleeping


[Inscribed to Her Grace the Duchess of Devonshire.]


CLOSE in a woodbine's tangled shade,
The BLOOMING GOD asleep was laid;
His brows with mossy roses crown'd;
His golden darts lay scatter'd round;
To shade his auburn, curled head,
A purple canopy was spread,
Which gently with the breezes play'd,
And shed around a soften'd shade.
Upon his downy smiling cheek,
Adorned with many a "dimple sleek,"
Beam'd glowing health and tender blisses,
His coral lip which teem'd with kisses
Ripe, glisten'd with ambrosial dew,
That mock'd the rose's deepest hue.­
His quiver on a bough was hung,
His bow lay carelessly unstrung:
His breath mild odour scatter'd round,
His eyes an azure fillet bound:
On every side did zephyrs play,
To fan the sultry beams of day;
While the soft tenants of the grove,
Attun'd their notes to plaintive Love.

Thus lay the Boy­when DEVONS feet
Unknowing reach'd the lone retreat;
Surpriz'd, to see the beauteous child
Of every dang'rous pow'r beguil'd!
Approaching near his mossy bed,
Soft whisp'ring to herself she said:­
" Thou little imp, whose potent art
" Bows low with grief the FEELING HEART;
" Whose thirst insatiate, loves to sip
" The nectar from the ruby lip;
" Whose barb'rous joy is prone to seek
" The soft carnation of the cheek;
" Now, bid thy tyrant sway farewell,
" As thus I break each magic spell: "
Snatch'd from the bough, where high it hung,
O'er her white shoulder straight she flung
The burnish'd quiver, golden dart,
And each vain emblem of his art;
Borne from his pow'r they now are seen,
The attributes of BEAUTY'S QUEEN!
While LOVE in secret hides his tears;
DIAN the form of VENUS wears!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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