[Byron]   [Author List]   [Home]


Lord Byron

 ( 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? "


[Byron]   [Author List]   [Home]