Cupid at Play



Love once came dancing through a forest glade
In wild abandon and in fancy free,
But ah, he stopped and round a guardian tree
Saw walking there a young man and his maid.
Tarrying there eclipsed in autumn shade
Of wicked Cupid could they nothing see;
He from his quiver drew a wood in glee
And drawing back the string he loosed the blade.
But Love was in a tantalising mood,
And so the arrow missed and fell to earth,
And he, mischievous cherub, shook with mirth.
The pair approached the tree and, talking, stood
Discussing weather and the lovely day,
Then parted sans farewell and went away!


Cupid, his sunny visage wreathed in smiles,
Watches his jest with open, merry eyes;
And there then dawns on him a swift surmise
What the result might be of all his wiles.
So follows he the man for several miles
And, catching him, does think to give surprise,
Looses another shaft to make him wise,
Which hurts him sore and full the young man riles.
But up he leaps and bends his racing feet,
His feet that are not fast enough to step
Towards his maiden, her as wife to keep.
He nears her dwelling, and with her does meet,
And coming close, he thus does her address,
“Wilt marry me?” She gently answers, “Yes!”


Cupid then clapped his chubby hands aloud
And hid himself behind a hawthorn bush,
Noticed with satisfaction the rich flush
That coloured up the maiden’s visage proud.
Just then upon the sun bore a cloud,
And Love away with fev’rish steps did rush,
At the result of puckish whim did blush,
And never more to play such tricks he vowed.
But Love is ever thus, impassioned, hot,
And like a fiery furnace man and maid
Do feel it searing like to make them mad.
And then again ‘tis cold or is forgot,
Or in a mischief mood, perhaps asleep;
Then maidens’ tender hearts so sadly weep.


The stern man, he of mighty chin and front,
That has beneath his shaggy lids a look
Cold, hard, and penetrating, with a book
That he consults, ‘tis hard to change his wont.
But let him be the object of the hunt,
Young Cupid’s hunt, tomes are all then forsook,
Tender his mouth becomes, softened his look,
Cooing his voice, buried the vulgar grunt!
A tower of adamant brought crumbling low,
A marble cast dissolved by woman’s tears,
A prey to nightly dreams and childish fears;
This miracle a shaft from Cupid’s bow
Will cause; its awful potency is plain;
Cupid’s wound leaves an everlasting pain!


My body worn with labour, tired and weary,
I drag with forced footsteps to my rest;
I sit me down with heavy eye and bleary,
And eat a meal and drink a foaming crest.
Then up the stairs with painful rises slow,
One step by one until the summit reach,
Unto my bed with aching limbs I go,
To taste what natural slumber will me teach.
But in the darkness when my body lies
Restful and calm and tranquil, sweet repose,
Sleepless and wide stare in the gloom my eyes,
My brain is active when I fain would doze.
With thoughts of thee from side to side I toss,
Counting my gain superior to my loss!


When I would sleep I stare me in the dark,
Into a gloom such as a blind man sees;
I list the wind and inwardly I mark
The wailing and the sighing in the trees.
I wonder dost thou sleep or dost thou lie
Upon thy couch in restlessness awake,
And torn between emotions thus I sigh,
Would I thy slumber or my slumber take?
I like to think of thee asleep, my love,
And in unconscious slumber lay thy head,
And yet I wish sometime thy thoughts would rove
As mine, and leave thee sleepless in thy bed —
Love, thou art great, magnificent, but what
Poor comfort when thou sleep hast clean forgot.


Two cherries on the self-same stalk appear,
One withers and decays, the other goes.
A love-bird deeply mourns his ‘parted dear
And sinks in helpful death his bitter woes.
The soul of man deserts the frame and flies,
The frame is clay, the body then is dead;
If brains be gone, and absent be the eyes,
And features missing, what is then a head?
Nay, one must have the other, else it pines,
Earns for itself care, worry, ceaseless strife;
Thus pine I for the want of sparkling wines,
The heady wines of living man and wife!
Come with me, marry me, live with me then;
Joy, if not singly, may visit us twain!