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Thomas Lovell Beddoes

(1803-1818 / England)

Song of the Stygian Naiades


Proserpine may pull her flowers,
Wet with dew or wet with tears,
Red with anger, pale with fears;
Is it any fault of ours,
If Pluto be an amorous king
And come home nightly, laden
Under his broad bat-wing
With a gentle earthly maiden?
Is it so, Wind, is it so?
All that I and you do know
Is that we saw fly and fix
'Mongst the flowers and reeds of Styx,
Yesterday,
Where the Furies made their hay
For a bed of tiger cubs,
A great fly of Beelzebub's,
The bee of hearts, which mortals name
Cupid, Love, and Fie for shame.


Proserpine may weep in rage,
But ere I and you have done
Kissing, bathing in the sun,
What I have in yonder cage,
She shall guess and ask in vain,
Bird or serpent, wild or tame;
But if Pluto does 't again,
It shall sing out loud his shame.
What hast caught then? What hast caught?
Nothing but a poet's thought,
Which so light did fall and fix
'Mongst the flowers and reeds of Styx,
Yesterday,
Where the Furies made their hay
For a bed of tiger cubs,
A great fly of Beelzebub's,
The bee of hearts, which mortals name
Cupid, Love, and Fie for shame.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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