Idyll XXX

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When Cypris saw Adonis,
In death already lying
With all his locks dishevelled,
And cheeks turned wan and ghastly,
She bade the Loves attendant
To bring the boar before her.

And lo, the winged ones, fleetly
They scoured through all the wild wood;
The wretched boar they tracked him,
And bound and doubly bound him.
One fixed on him a halter,
And dragged him on, a captive,
Another drave him onward,
And smote him with his arrows.
But terror-struck the beast came,
For much he feared Cythere.
To him spake Aphrodite, -
'Of wild beasts all the vilest,
This thigh, by thee was 't wounded?
Was 't thou that smote my lover?'
To her the beast made answer -
'I swear to thee, Cythere,
By thee, and by thy lover,
Yea, and by these my fetters,
And them that do pursue me, -
Thy lord, thy lovely lover
I never willed to wound him;
I saw him, like a statue,
And could not bide the burning,
Nay, for his thigh was naked,
And mad was I to kiss it,
And thus my tusk it harmed him.
Take these my tusks, O Cypris,
And break them, and chastise them,
For wherefore should I wear them,
These passionate defences?
If this doth not suffice thee,
Then cut my lips out also,
Why dared they try to kiss him?'

Then Cypris had compassion;
She bade the Loves attendant
To loose the bonds that bound him.
From that day her he follows,
And flees not to the wild wood
But joins the Loves, and always
He bears Love's flame unflinching.

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