Love and the Nymphs

Mr Kilburn

Auprés d’une fèconde source
D’ou coulent cent petites ruisseaux,
L’amour, fatigué de sa course,
Dormait sur un lit de roseaux

 —  Bernis

Hard by a stream where waters stray
Through many a channel, Love repos’d
Upon a bed of reeds he lay,
And soon in sleep his eyelids clos’d.

To view his beauties as he slept,
The naiads of the silver stream
With silent step around his crept
Nor rous’d the slumb’rer from his dream.

Till one at length incautious spoke
To praise the beauty of the boy,
Love at last the grateful sound awoke
But in his breast conceal’d his joy.

And still in soft engaging smiles
The artful Urchin hid his wiles
Till the rash nymphs no longer coy
Plac’d on their knees the lovely boy.

His brows with flowing bands they bound
His hair with many a flowing braid,
And love still gracious look’d around,
And with sweet smiles their cares repaid.

But soon within each throbbing breast
They felt his subtle poisons glide
Each heart his treach’rous confest
And thus these rash immortals cried.

“Oh! Love, restore the soft repose
We late possess’d till here you came
Not our own streams can cool the flame
That in each tortur’d bosom glows!”

“Cherish the warmth that I inspire”
Says Love, “nor thus my conduct blame,
I, when I please, excite the fire
But cannot quench the rising flames!”