Poems of Letitia Elizabeth Landon in The Literary Souvenir, 1827/Cupid

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Cupid and Psyche.png


CUPID AND PSYCHE.



X.---Cupid and Psyche. By William Humphrys; from
         an original Painting by W. E. West, in that gen-
         tleman's possession......337



CUPID AND PSYCHE.


Love,—oh do not name his name!
On this earth he only came
To deceive and to destroy,—
Lasting sorrow, fleeting joy!
Sunny light each pinion flings,
But, alas, they still are wings!
Rainbow feathers edge his shaft,
They are stained with crime and craft.
Fair but false Divinity,
Does the bosom treasure thee!
Better would its folly fare
Were the scorpion harboured there.
Does the cheek with colours burn,
Shed from passion's purple urn!
Woe for the deceiving light,
It will herald darkest night.
Go thou, ask the happiest lover,
Far or near thou canst discover;

He will say his happiest hour
Was but as a fairy dower,—
Gold that for a moment shone,
Charmed the sight, and then was gone.
And albeit thy blind caprice
Gave the wearied one release,
'Twas to leave him like the pyre
Where the deadly flames expire;
Not till they have fed on all
Of odour, gem, or coronal,
Leaving smouldering waste behind,
Withered hope, and ruined mind;
Heart it were relief to break;
Oh, Love, thine is a fearful stake!—

    What sweet picture may this seem?
Were it aught but painter's dream,
There were all in young Love's reign
Maidens hope for, minstrels feign;—
Leans he by his dear one's side,
From his eyes the veil untied;
Gentle as the gentlest rays
Of the dove's on which they gaze;
He has left his bow unbent,
Hung aside his shafts, content
But to trust his soft caress,
And his passing loveliness.

Oh, Love! couldst thou be like this,
Mirror thus of heaven's own bliss,
Then wouldst thou have hopes that might
Trust themselves to their delight;
Confidence, whose sweet repose
Weaves a pillow of the rose;—
Peace like that on ocean's breast,
When the halcyon builds her nest;—
Faith like that the martyrs feel
In their high and holy zeal.
Then the pleasures thou wouldst know
To immortal ones would grow.
Go, Love, like this couldst thou be,
Paradise were home for thee!
L. E. L.