The National Gallery
HERE we have the lovely masque
Of a Venus, in the braid
Of bright oak-boughs, come to ask
Hermes will he give a task
To the little lad beside her,
Who half hides and half doth guide her.
Can there be indeed good cause
Cupid should learn other art
Than his mother's gracious laws ?
Hermes—Oh, the magic straws
In his hat !—as one that pineth,
To the pretty babe inclineth.
Oh, the poignant hour serene,
When sweet Love that is a child,
When sweet Cupid comes between
Troubled lovers as a screen,
And the scolding and beseeching
Are just turned to infant-teaching.
Image: Correggio; Venus, Mercury and Cupid (ca. 1525). Oil on canvas. 155.6 x 91.4 cm. © The National Gallery, London, 1834. The Collection: Room 8