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Poem by Clinton Scollard


Cupid and the Shepherd


     (Sestina)

One merry morn when all the earth was bright,
    And flushed with dewy dawn's encrimsoning ray
A shepherd youth, o'er whose fair face the light
    Of rosy smiles was ever wont to stray,
Roamed through a level grassy mead, bedight
    With springtime blossoms, fragrant, fresh and gay.

But now, alas ! his mood was far from gay ;
    And musing how the dark world would be bright
Could he but win his maiden's love, and stray
    With her forever, basking in its light,
He saw afar, in morn's bright beaming ray,
    A lissome boy with archer's arms bedight.

The boy shot arrows at a tree bedight
    With red-winged songsters warbling sweet and gay
Amid the leaves and blossoms blooming bright.
    He seemed an aimless, wandering waif astray,
And so the shepherd caught him, stealing light,
    While from his eyes he flashed an angry ray.

The fair boy plead until a kindly ray
    Shone o'er the shepherd's clouded brow, bedight
With clustering locks, and he said, smiling gay,
    "I prithee promise, by thy face so bright,
To ne'er again, where'er thou mayest stray,
    Slay the sweet birds that make so glad the light."

While yet he spake, from out those eyes a light
    Divine shot forth, before whose glowing ray
The shepherd quailed, it was so wondrous bright ;
    Then well he knew 'twas Cupid coy and gay,
With all his arts and subtle wiles bedight,
    And knelt in homage lest the boy should stray.

"Rise," said the God, "and e'er thy footsteps stray
    Know that within her eyes where beamed no light
Of love for thee, I will implant a ray.
    She shall be thine with all her charms bedight."
The shepherd kissed Love's hand and bounded gay
    To gain his bliss,-and all the world was bright.

When naught is bright to these that sadly stray,
    Oftimes a single ray of Eros' light
Will make all earth bedight with radiance gay.



Clinton Scollard


Clinton Scollard's other poems:
  1. Muckross
  2. The Cripple
  3. The Tides
  4. A Sea Rover
  5. The Spectral Rowers


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