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William Shenstone

(1714 - 1763 / England)

Cupid and Plutus


When Celia, love's eternal foe,
To rich old Gomez first was married;
And angry Cupid came to know
His shafts had err'd, his bow miscarried;

He sigh'd, he wept, he hung his head,
On the cold ground, full sad, he laid him;
When Plutus, there by fortune led,
In this desponding plight survey'd him.

'And sure,' he cried, 'you'll own at last
Your boasted power by mine exceeded:
Say, wretched boy, now all is past,
How little she your efforts heeded.

'If with success you would assail,
Gild, youngster, doubly gild your arrows:
Little the feather'd shafts avail,
Though wing'd from mamma's doves and sparrows.

'What though each reed, each arrow grew,
Where Venus bathed herself; depend on't,
'Twere more for use, for beauty too,
A diamond sparkled at the end on't.'

'Peace, Plutus, peace!'-the boy replied;
'Were not my arts by yours infested,
I could each other power deride,
And rule this circle unmolested.

'See yonder pair! no worldly views
In Chloe's generous breast resided:
Love bade her the spruce valet choose,
And she by potent love was guided.

'For this, she quits her golden dreams,
In her gilt coach no more she ranges:
And her rich crimson, bright with gems,
For cheeks impearl'd with tears, she changes.

'Though sordid Celia own'd your power,
Think not so monstrous my disgrace is:
You gain'd this nymph-that very hour
I gain'd a score in different places.'

Submitted: Monday, April 19, 2010

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