ANACREON. ODE III.
Translated by the Same.
1 IN the dead of the night, when with labour oppress'd
2 All mortals enjoy the calm blessing of rest,
3 Cupid knock'd at my door, I awoke with the noise,
4 And "who is it (I call'd) that my sleep thus destroys?
5 "You need not be frighten'd, he answered mild,
6 "Let me in; I'm a little unfortunate child;
7 "'Tis a dark rainy night; and I'm wet to the skin;
8 "And my way I have lost; and do, pray, let me in. "
9 I was mov'd with compassion; and striking a light,
10 I open'd the door; when a boy stood in sight,
11 Who had wings on his shoulders: the rain from him dripp'd,
12 With a bow and with arrows too he was equipp'd.
13 I stirr'd up my fire, and close by its side
14 I set him down by me: with napkins I dried,
15 I chaf'd him all over, kept out the cold air,
16 And I wrung with my hands the wet out of his hair.
17 He from wet and from cold was no sooner at ease,
18 But taking his bow up, he said, "If you please
19 "We will try it; I would by experiment know
20 "If the wet hath not damag'd the string of my bow."
21 Forthwith from his quiver an arrow he drew,
22 To the string he apply'd it, and twang went the yew;
23 The arrow was gone; in my bosom it center'd:
24 No sting of a hornet more sharp ever enter'd.
25 Away skipp'd the urchin, as brisk as a bee,
26 And laughing, "I wish you much joy friend, quoth he:
27 "My bow is undamag'd, for true went the dart;
28 "But you will have trouble enough with your heart."