Anacreon

(570 BC – 488 BC)

Love's Night Walk


Downward was the wheeling Bear
Driven by the Waggoner:
Men by powerful sleep opprest,
Gave their busy troubles rest;
Love, in this still depth of night,
Lately at my house did light;
Where, perceiving all fast lock'd,
At the door he boldly knock'd.
'Who's that,' said I, 'That does keep
Such a noise, and breaks my sleep?'
'Ope,' saith Love, 'for pity hear;
'Tis a child, thou need'st not fear,
Wet and weary, from his way
Led by this dark night astray.'
With compassion this I heard;
Light I struck, the door unbarr'd;
Where a little boy appears,
Who wings, bow, and quiver bears;
Near the fire I made him stand,
With my own I chaf'd his hand,
And with kindly busy care
Wrung the chill drops from his hair.
When well warm'd he was, and dry,
'Now,' saith he, ''tis time to try
If my bow no hurt did get,
For methinks the string is wet.'
With that, drawing it, a dart
He let fly that pierc'd my heart;
Leaping then, and laughing said,
'Come, my friend, with me be glad;
For my bow thou seest is sound,
Since thy heart hath got a wound.'

Submitted: Wednesday, September 19, 2012

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