Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
The Dream
By Aphra Behn (1640–1689)
THE GROVE was gloomy all around,
    Murmuring the stream did pass,
Where fond Astræa laid her down
    Upon a bed of grass;
I slept and saw a piteous sight,        5
    Cupid a-weeping lay,
Till both his little stars of light
    Had wept themselves away.
Methought I asked him why he cried;
    My pity led me on,—        10
All sighing the sad boy replied,
    ‘Alas! I am undone!
As I beneath yon myrtles lay,
    Down by Diana’s springs,
Amyntas stole my bow away,        15
    And pinioned both my wings.’
‘Alas!’ I cried, ‘’twas then thy darts
    Wherewith he wounded me?
Thou mighty deity of hearts,
    He stole his power from thee?        20
Revenge thee, if a god thou be,
    Upon the amorous swain,
I ’ll set thy wings at liberty,
    And thou shalt fly again;
And, for this service on my part,        25
    All I demand of thee,
Is, wound Amyntas’ cruel heart,
    And make him die for me.’
His silken fetters I untied,
    And those gay wings displayed,        30
Which gently fanned, he mounting cried,
    ‘Farewell, fond easy maid!’
At this I blushed, and angry grew
    I should a god believe,
And waking found my dream too true,        35
    For I was still a slave.

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