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William Blake (1757–1827). The Poetical Works. 1908.

Poems from the Rossetti MS.: Later Poems

Why was Cupid a boy

WHY was Cupid a boy,

And why a boy was he?

He should have been a girl,

For aught that I can see.

For he shoots with his bow,

And the girl shoots with her eye,

And they both are merry and glad,

And laugh when we do cry.

And to make Cupid a boy

Was the Cupid girl’s mocking plan;

For a boy can’t interpret the thing

Till he is become a man.

And then he’s so pierc’d with cares,

And wounded with arrowy smarts,

That the whole business of his life

Is to pick out the heads of the darts.

’Twas the Greeks’ love of war

Turn’d Love into a boy,

And woman into a statue of stone—

And away fled every joy.