When Cupid, wanton boy, was young
His wings unfledg’d, and rude his tongue,
He loiter’d in Arcadian bowers,
And hid his bow in wreaths of flowers;
Or pierced some fond unguarded heart,
Now and then with random dart;
But heroes scorn’d the idle boy,
And love was but a shepherd’s toy:
When Venus vex’d to see her child
Amidst the forests thus run wild,
Would point him out some nobler game,
Gods and godlike men to tame.
She seiz’d the boy’s reluctant hand
And led him to the virgin band,
Where the sister Muses round
Swell the deep majestic sound;
And in solemn strains unite,
Breathing chaste, severe delights.
If thou should chance to find him there
Ellen! of the rogue take care;
Ne’er let him with that leering look,
Thy pen destroy, consume thy book;
Ne’er let him with malignant joy,
Thee from they studies e’er decoy:
Ne’er may I see thee ling’ring stand,
And laugh at learning’s mild command.
But ’till with thee Minerva’s pow’rs decline,
Let me my Ellen! be thy Valentine.