( Note: This version is from
a later edition -- see Translation of Anacreon Ode 3 for original
'Twas now the hour when Night had driven
Her car half round yon sable heaven;
Boötes, only, seem'd to roll
His arctic charge around the pole;
While mortals, lost in gentle sleep,
Forgot to smile, or ceased to weep:
At this lone hour the Paphian boy,
Descending from the realms of joy,
Quick to my gate directs his course,
And knocks with all his little force.
My visions fled, alarm'd I rose, ---
"What stranger breaks my blest repose?"
"Alas ! " replies the wily child,
In faltering accents sweetly mild,
"A hapless infant here I roam,
Far from my dear maternal home.
Oh ! shield me from the wintry blast !
The nightly storm is pouring fast.
No prowling robber lingers here,
A wandering baby who can fear?"
I heard his seeming artless tale,
I heard his sighs upon the gale:
My breast was never pity's foe,
But felt for all the baby's woe.
I drew the bar, and by the light
Young Love, the infant, met my sight;
His bow across his shoulders flung,
And thence his fatal quiver hung
( Ah ! little did I think the dart
Would rankle soon winthin my heart ).
With care I tend my weary guest,
His little fingers chill my breast;
His glossy curls, his azure wing,
Which droop with nightly showers, I wring;
His shivering limbs the embers warm;
And now reviving from the storm,
Scarce had he felt his wonted glow,
Than swift he seized his slender bow: ---
" I fain would know, my gentle host, "
He cried, " if this its strength has lost;
I fear, relax'd with midnight dews,
The strings their former aid refuse. "
With poison tipt, his arrow flies,
Deep in my tortured heart it lies;
Then loud the joyous urchin laugh'd : ---
" My bow can still impel the shaft:
"Tis firmly fix'd, thy sighs reveal it;
Say, courteous host, canst thou not feel it? "
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