Edmund Spenser

Amoretti: Postlude

Poem by Edmund Spenser

In youth before I waxed old,
  The blynd boy Venus baby,
For want of cunning made me bold,
  In bitter hyue to grope for honny.
    But when he saw me stung and cry,
    He tooke his wings and away did fly.

As Diane hunted on a day,
  She chaunst to come where Cupid lay,
his quiuer by his head:
  One of his shafts she stole away,
And one of hers did close conuay,
  into the others stead:
    With that loue wounded my loues hart,
    but Diane beasts with Cupids dart.

I saw in secret to my Dame,
  How little Cupid humbly came:
  and sayd to her All hayle, my mother.
But when he saw me laugh, for shame:
His face with bashfull blood did flame,
  not knowing Venus from the other,
Then neuer blush Cupid (quoth I),
for many haue err'd in this beauty.

Vpon a day as loue lay sweetly slumbring,
  all in his mothers lap:
A gentle Bee with his loud trumpet murm'ring,
  about him flew by hap.
Whereof when he was wakened with the noyse,
  and saw the beast so small:
Whats this (quoth he) that giues so great a voyce,
  that wakens men withall.
In angry wize he flies about,
  and threatens all with corage stout.

To whom his mother closely smiling sayd,
  twixt earnest and twixt game:
See thou thy selfe likewise art lyttle made,
  if thou regard the same.
And yet thou suffrest neyther gods in sky,
  nor men in earth to rest:
But when thou art disposed cruelly,
  theyr sleepe thou doost molest.
Then eyther change thy cruelty,
  or giue lyke leaue vnto the fly.

Nathlesse the cruell boy not so content,
  would needs the fly pursue:
And in his hand with heedlesse hardiment,
  him caught for to subdue.
But when on it he hasty hand did lay,
  the Bee him stung therefore:
Now out alasse (he cryde) and welaway,
  I wounded am full sore:
The fly that I so much did scorne,
  hath hurt me with his little horne.

Vnto his mother straight he weeping came,
  and of his griefe complayned:
Who could not chose but laugh at his fond game,
  though sad to see him pained.
Think now (quoth she) my sonne how great the smart
  of those whom thou dost wound:
Full many thou hast pricked to the hart,
  that pitty neuer found:
Therefore henceforth some pitty take,
  when thou doest spoyle of louers make.

She tooke him streight full pitiously lamenting,
  and wrapt him in her smock:
She wrapt him softly, all the while repenting,
  that he the fly did mock.
She drest his wound and it embaulmed wel
  with salue of soueraigne might:
And then she bath'd him in a dainty well
  the well of deare delight.
Who would not oft be stung as this,
  to be so bath'd in Venus blis.

The wanton boy was shortly wel recured,
  of that his malady:
But he soone after fresh againe enured,
  his former cruelty.
And since that time he wounded hath my selfe
  with his sharpe dart of loue;
And now forgets the cruell carelesse elfe,
  his mothers heast to proue.
So now I languish till he please,
  my pining anguish to appease.