Attacked by a Baby in a Dream

Anacreonta 33

“Once, in the middle of the night,
At that time when the bear
Is already turning round the Plowman’s hand,
And all mortal peoples lie
Overcome by exhaustion,
Love stationed himself outside
The bolts of my doors and was knocking.

I said, “who’s knocking at my door?
You’ve broken up my dreams!”
And Love said, “Open up!
I am just a baby, don’t be afraid.
I am getting damp as I wander
Through this moonless night.”

I felt pity when I heard this
And immediately grabbed my lamp.
I opened the door and saw
Baby there, wearing a quiver
With arrows and a bow.
I sat him down near my hearth
And I warmed his hands with mine
And pressed the gold water from his hair.

Once he shrugged off his shivers,
He said, “Come on, let’s try this bow,
Whether its string has been ruined from getting wet.

He drew and shot true,
In the middle of my heart, like a mosquito.
He jumped up and laughed out with a smile,
“Friend, celebrate with me!
My bow is unharmed,
Although your heart will hurt for a while!

μεσονυκτίοις ποτ᾿ ὥραις,
στρέφετ᾿ ἡνίκ᾿ Ἄρκτος ἤδη
κατὰ χεῖρα τὴν Βοώτου,
μερόπων δὲ φῦλα πάντα
κέαται κόπῳ δαμέντα,
τότ᾿ Ἔρως ἐπισταθείς μευ
θυρέων ἔκοπτ᾿ ὀχῆας.

῾τίς᾿ ἔφην ῾θύρας ἀράσσει
κατά μευ σχίσας ὀνείρους;’
ὁ δ᾿ Ἔρως ῾ἄνοιγε’ φησίν·
῾βρέφος εἰμί, μὴ φόβησαι·
βρέχομαι δὲ κἀσέληνον
κατὰ νύκτα πεπλάνημαι.’
ἐλέησα ταῦτ᾿ ἀκούσας,

ἀνὰ δ᾿ εὐθὺ λύχνον ἅψας
ἀνέῳξα καὶ βρέφος μὲν
ἐσορῶ φέροντα τόξον
πτέρυγάς τε καὶ φαρέτρην·
παρὰ δ᾿ ἱστίην καθίξας

παλάμαισι χεῖρας αὐτοῦ
ἀνέθαλπον, ἐκ δὲ χαίτης
ἀπέθλιβον ὑγρὸν ὕδωρ.
ὁ δ᾿, ἐπεὶ κρύος μεθῆκε,
῾φέρε᾿ φησί ῾πειράσωμεν
τόδε τόξον, εἴ τι μοι νῦν
βλάβεται βραχεῖσα νευρή.’

τανύει δὲ καί με τύπτει
μέσον ἧπαρ, ὥσπερ οἶστρος.
ἀνὰ δ᾿ ἅλλεται καχάζων·
῾ξένε᾿ δ᾿ εἶπε ῾συγχάρηθι·
κέρας ἀβλαβὲς μὲν ἡμῖν,
σὺ δὲ καρδίαν πονήσεις.’

Black-and-white photo of a marble baby cupid with wings and a bow
Duquesnoy Cupid prewar photo

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