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Her Eros thus proclaimed the Cyprian Queen;--
'If any one has in the highway seen
My straying Eros, and reports to me
His whereabout, he shall rewarded be;
A kiss for him; but if it shall betide
One bring him me, a kiss--and more beside.
Midst twenty he is notable to view;
Not fair, but flamy, is his dazzling hue;
Sharp are his eyes, and flame their glances fleet
His mind is wicked, but his speech is sweet.
His word and meaning are not like at all;
His word is honey, and his meaning gall.
He is a mischievous, deceitful child;
Beguiles with falsehood, laughs at the beguiled.
He has a lovely head of curling hair,
But saucy features, with a reckless stare.
His hands are tiny, but afar they throw
E'en down to Dis and Acheron below.
Naked his form, his mind in covert lies;
Winged as a feathered bird, he careless flies;
From girls to boys, from men to women flits,
Sports with their heart-strings, on their vital sits.
Small is his bow, his arrow small to sight,
But to Jove's court it wings its ready flight.
Upon his back a golden quiver sounds,
Full of sharp darts, with which e'en me he wounds.
All cruel things by cruel Love are done;
His torch is small, yet scorches e'en the sun.
But should you take him--fast and safely bind him,
And bring him to me with his hands behind him.
If he should weep, take heed--he weeps at will;
But should he smile--then drag him faster still;
And should he offer you a kiss, beware!
Evil his kiss, his red lips poisoned are!
And should he say, with seeming friendship hot,
"Accept my bow and arrows," touch them not!
Tears, smiles, words, gifts, deceitful wiles inspire,
And everything he has is dipped in fire.'