CUPID and CHLOE.
1 TO deck her bosom Chloe chose,
2 Before all flow'rs, the blushing rose:
3 It made her breasts more lovely shew,
4 And added whiteness to their snow.
5 The tender nymph, herself a bud,
6 So much already understood.
7 But once, bless'd hour! she went to see
8 The produce of the favourite tree.
9 A large and tempting rose she found,
10 Which spread its perfumes all around.
11 It seem'd to court the virgin's hand,
12 The virgin did not long withstand.
13 She pluck'd — but O! a sudden pain
14 Made her release the stalk again.
15 The wound appear'd, her finger bled,
16 And stain'd the rose with guilty red.
17 The nymph, with pain and anger mov'd,
18 Began to hate what once she lov'd;[Page 255]
19 She sigh'd, she wept, and stamp'd, and swore
20 She'd touch the odious tree no more.
21 When forth a little Cupid came,
22 T' appease the crying angry dame.
23 The angry nymph the God perceives
24 Struggling through th' intangling leaves:
25 When from his fragrant ambuscade
26 He thus accosts the weeping maid.
27 Cease, Chloe, cease; and do not cry,
28 Nor blame the harmless tree — 'twas I.
29 'Twas I, that caus'd the little pain,
30 And I — will make it well again.
31 My mother bad me do't; and said,
32 This herb would ease the suff'ring maid.
33 Let it but to the place be bound,
34 'Twill stop the blood, and heal the wound.
35 But, Chloe, if so small a dart,
36 And in the finger, gives such smart,
37 What, madam — if I'd pierc'd your heart?
38 Cease then to scorn my pow'r; and know,
39 By what I've done, what I can do.
40 Here he assum'd an aweful look;
41 He nodded thrice, his locks he shook,
42 And mimick'd Jove in all he spoke.
43 With strenuous arm he twang'd his bow,
44 He shew'd her all his quiver too;
45 This, says the God, — and this, the dart,
46 That wounded such and such a heart.
47 The virgin saw, admir'd, believ'd,
48 And bow'd — the God with smiles receiv'd
49 The adoration which she pay'd,
50 And wav'd his purple wings, and left the wond'ring maid.
51 My Chloe still can shew the scar,
52 And boasts the God's peculiar care.
53 She loves and is belov'd again,
54 Secure of pleasure, free from pain.
55 I've seen the rose adorn'd with blood,
56 Which from my Chloe's finger flow'd;
57 I've seen the sprig where Cupid stood.
58 I saw his little fragrant nest —
59 And Chloe told me all the rest.