A Complaint against Cupid That He Never Made Him in Love

How many of thy Captives (Love) complaine
Thou yoak'st thy slaves in too severe a chaine?
I 'have heard 'em their Poetique malice shew,
To curse thy Quiver, and blaspheme thy bow.
Calling thee boy, and blind; threatning the rod;
Prophanely swearing that thou art no God.
Or if thou be; not from the starry place;
But born below, and of the Stygian race.
But yet these Atheists that thy shafts dislike,
Thou canst be freindly to, and daigne to strike.
This on his Cloris spends his thoughts and time;
That chaunts Corinna in his amorous rime.
A third speaks raptures, and hath gaind a wit
By praising Caelia; else had mis't of it.
But I that think there can no freedom be,
( Cupid ) so sweet, as thy Captivity.
I that could wish thy chains, and live content
To wear them, not my Gives, but ornament:
I that could any ransom pay to thee,
Not to redeem, but sell my liberty;
I am neglected; let the cause be known;
Art thou a niggard of thy arrows grown,
That wert so prodigall? or dost thou please
To set thy Pillars up with Hercules
Weary of conquest? or should I disgrace
Thy victories, if I were daign'd a place
Amongst thy other Trophies? none of these,
Witnesse thy dayly triumphs: who but sees
Thou still pursuest thy game from high to low;
No age, no Sexe can scape thy pow'rfull bow.
Decrepite age whose veins and bones may bee
An Argument against Philosophy,
To prove an emptinesse; that has no sense
Left but his feeling, feels thy influence;
And dying dotes: not babes thy shafts can misse;
How quickly Infants can be taught to kisse!
As the poor Apes being dumb these words would borrow,
I 'was born to day to get a babe to morrow.
Each plow-man thy propitious wounds can prove,
Tilling the earth, and wishing 'twere his love.
Am I invulnerable? is the dart
Rebeaten, which thou level'st at my heart?
Ill rest my Parents bones, if they have done
As Tethis once did to her God-like sonne
The great Achilles , dipt in Stygian lake;
Though I am so, Cupid , thy arrows take,
Try where I am not proof, and let me feel
Thy 'archery, if not i'th heart, i'th heel.
Perchance my heart lyes there; who would not be
A Coward, to be valiant made by thee.
I cannot say thy blindnesse is the cause,
That I am barr'd the freedom of thy laws;
The wretched out-Law of thy Mothers Court,
That place of comfort, Paradise of sport.
For they may say, that say thou blind canst be,
Eagles want eyes, and only moles can see.
Not Argus with so many lights did shine,
For each fair Ladies sparkling eyes are thine.
Think'st thou because I doe the Muses love,
I in thy Camp would a faint souldier prove?
How came Musaeus , and Anacreon then
Into thy troops? how came Tibullus pen
Amongst thy spears; and how came Ovid (say)
To be enrold great Generall in thy pay?
And doubts thou me? suspect you I will tell
The hidden misteries of your Paphian cell,
To the straight lac'd Diana? or betray
The secrets of the night, unto the day?
No Cupid , by thy mothers doves I swear,
And by her sparrows, 'tis an idle fear.
If Philomel descend to sport with me;
Know I can be (great Love ) as dumb as shee,
Though shee hath lost her tongue; in such delights
All should be like her, only talk by nights:
Make me thy Preist (if Poets truth divine)
I'le make the Muses wanton; at thy shrine
They all shall wait; and Dian's selfe shall be
A votresse to thy Mothers Nunnerie,
Where zeale with nature shall maintaine no strife;
Where none swear chastity, and single life.
To Venus -Nuns an easier oath is read,
Shee breaks her vow, that keeps her maiden head.
Reject not then your Flamin's ministry:
Let me but deacon in thy Temples be:
And see how I shall touch my pow'rfull lyre,
And more inspir'd with thine, then Phaebus fire,
Chaunt such a moving verse, as soon should frame
Desire of dalliance in the coyest dame;
Melting to amorous thoughts her heart of stone;
And force her to untrusse her Virgin zone.
Is Lucrece , or Penelope alive?
Give me a Spartan Matron, Sabine wife;
Or any of the Vestals hither call,
And I will make them be thy converts all.
Who like good Proselites more in heart then show,
Shall to thy orgies all so zealous go,
That Thais shall, nor Helen such appeare;
As if they only Loves precisians were.
But now my Muse dull heavy numbers sings,
Cupid 'tis thou alone giv'st verse her wings.
The Lawrell-wreath I never shall obtaine,
Unlesse thy torch illuminate my braine.
Love Laurell gives; Phaebus as much can say,
Had not he lov'd, there had not been the Bay.
Why is my Presentation then put by?
Who is't that my Induction dares deny?
Can any Lady say I am unfit?
If so, I'le sue my Quare Impedit .
I'am young enough, my spirits quick and good;
My veins swell high with kind and active blood.
Nor am I marble; when I see an eye
Quick, bright, and full, 'raid round with majestie;
I feel my heart with a strange heat opprest,
As 'twere a lightning darted through my brest.
I long not for the cherries on the Tree,
So much as those which on a lip I see,
And more affection beare I to the Rose
That in a cheek, then in a garden grows.
I gaze on beauteous Virgins with delight,
And feel my temper vary at the sight;
I know not why; but warmer streams doe glide
Thorough my veins, sure 'tis a wanton tide.
But you perchance esteem my love the lesse,
Because I have a foolish bashfulnesse,
A shame-fac'd rose you find within my face,
Whose modest blush frights you from my embrace;
That's ready now to fall, if you'le but daigne
To pluck it once, it shall not grow againe.
Or doe you therefore cast my love away,
Because I am not expert in the play?
My skill's not known till it be ventred on;
I have not Aristotle read alone,
I am in Ovid a proficient too;
And if you'd heare my Lecture, could to you
Analize all his art, with so much more
Judgment and skill, then e're 'twas taught before,
That I might be cheife master, he, dull foole,
The under usher in the Cyprian Schoole:
For petty Paedagogue, poore Pedant, he
First writ the Art, and then the remedie:
But I could set downe rules of love so sure,
As should exceed Art, and admit no cure.
Pictures I could invent ( Love , were I thine)
As might stand copies unto Aretine :
And such new dalliance study, as should frame
Variety in that which is the same.
I am not then uncapable (great Love )
Would'st thou my skill but with one arrow prove.
Give me a Mistresse in whose looks to joy,
And such a Mistresse ( Love ) as will be coy,
Not easily wonne, though to be wonne in time;
That from her nicenesse I may store my rhime:
Then in a Thousand sighes, to thee I'le pay
My Morning Orisons, and every day
Two Thousand groans, and count these amorous pray'ers
I make to thee, not by my Beads , but Teares .
Besides, each day I'le write an Elegy,
And in as lamentable Poetry
As any Inns of Court-man, that hath gone
To buy an Ovid with a Littleton .
But ( Love ) I see you will not entertaine
Those that desire to Live amidst your traine;
For death and you have got a trick to fly
From such poore wretches as doe wish you nigh.
You scorne a yeelding slave; and plainly shew it,
Those that contemne your pow'er you make to know it.
And such am I; I slight your proud commands;
I' mar'le who put a bow into your hands;
A hobby-horse, or some such pretty toy,
A rattle would befit you better, Boy.
You conquer Gods and men? how stand I free,
That will acknowledge no supremacie
Unto your childish Godhead? does it cry?
Give it a plumme to still it's deity.
Good Venus let it suck; that it may keep
Lesse bawling; gentle Nurse rock it a sleep.
Or if you be past babie; and are now
Come to weare breeches, must we then allow
Your Boyship leave to shoot at whom you please?
No, whip it for such wanton tricks as these:
If this doe anger you, I'le send a Bee,
Shall to a single duell challenge thee:
And make you to your Mam run, and complaine
The little serpent stung thee once again.
Go hunt the butter flyes, and if you can
But catch 'em, make their wings into a fan.
Wee'le give you leave to hunt and sport at them,
So you let men alone. But I blaspheme
(Great Love ) I feare I have offended thee,
If so, be mercifull, and punish me.
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