Percy's Reliques - The Hue and Cry after Cupid.

The Hue and Cry after Cupid.

            This song is a kind of translation of a pretty poem of Tasso's, called Amore fuggitivo, generally printed with his Aminta, and originally imitated from the first Idyllium of Moschus.

            It is extracted from Ben Jonson's Masque at the marriage of Lord Viscount Hadington, on Shrove-Tuesday, 1608. One stanza, full of dry mythology, is here omitted, as it had been dropt in a copy of this song printed in a small volume called Le Prince d'Amour. Lond. 1660. 8vo.

BEAUTIES, have yee seen a toy,
Called Love, a little boy,
Almost naked, wanton, blinde;
Cruel now, and then as kinde?
If he be amongst yee, say;
He is Venus' run-away.

Shee, that will but now discover
Where the winged wag doth hover,
Shall to-night receive a kisse,
How and where herselfe would wish;
But who brings him to his mother
Shall have that kisse, and another.

Markes he hath about him plentie,
You may know him among twentie
All his body is a fire,
And his breath a flame entire:
Which, being shot, like lightning, in,
Wounds the heart, but not the skin.

Wings he hath, which though yee clip,
He will leape from lip to lip,
Over liver, lights, and heart;
Yet not stay in any part.
And, if chance his arrow misses,
He will shoot himselfe in kisses.

He doth beare a golden bow,
And a quiver hanging low,
Full of arrowes, which outbrave
Dian's shafts; where, if he have
Any head more sharpe than other,
With that first he strikes his mother.

Still the fairest are his fuell,
When his daies are to be cruell;
Lovers hearts are all his food,
And his baths their warmest bloud:
Nought but wounds his hands doth season.
And he hates none like to Reason.

Trust him not: his words, though sweet,
Seldome with his heart doe meet;
All his practice is deceit;
Everie gift is but a bait;
Not a kisse but poyson beares;
And most treason's in his teares.

Idle minutes are his raigne;
Then the straggler makes his gaine,
By presenting maids with toyes
And would have yee thinke them joyes;
'Tis the ambition of the elfe
To have all childish as himselfe.

If by these yee please to know him,
Beauties, be not nice, but show him.
Though yee had a will to hide him,
Now, we hope, yee'le not abide him,
Since yee heare this falser's play,
And that he is Venus' run-away.

 

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