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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/190

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150
HOURS OF IDLENESS.

I heard his seeming artless tale,[1]
I heard his sighs upon the gale:
My breast was never pity's foe,
But felt for all the baby's woe.
I drew the bar, and by the light
Young Love, the infant, met my sight;
His bow across his shoulders flung,
And thence his fatal quiver hung
(Ah! little did I think the dart
Would rankle soon within my heart).
With care I tend my weary guest,
His little fingers chill my breast;
His glossy curls, his azure wing,
Which droop with nightly showers, I wring;
His shivering limbs the embers warm;
And now reviving from the storm,
Scarce had he felt his wonted glow,
Than swift he seized his slender bow:—
"I fain would know, my gentle host,"

He cried, "if this its strength has lost;
  1. Touched with the seeming artless tale
    Compassion's tears o'er doubt prevail;
    Methought I viewed him, cold and damp,
    I trimmed anew my dying lamp,
    Drew back the bar—and by the light
    A pinioned Infant met my sight;
    His bow across his shoulders slung,
    And hence a gilded quiver hung;
    With care I tend my weary guest,
    His shivering hands by mine are pressed:
    My hearth I load with embers warm
    To dry the dew drops of the storm:
    Drenched by the rain of yonder sky
    The strings are weak—but let us try.—[MS. Newstead.]