32×30 inches, oil on linen
private collection


Cupid as he lay among 
Roses, by a Bee was stung. 
Whereupon in anger flying 
To his Mother, said thus crying; 
Help! O help! your Boy’s a dying. 
And why, my pretty Lad, said she? 
Then blubbering, replied he, 
A winged Snake has bitten me, 
Which Country people call a Bee. 
At which she smil’d; then with her hairs 
And kisses drying up his tears: 
Alas! said she, my Wag! if this 
Such a pernicious torment is: 
Come tell me then, how great’s the smart 
Of those, thou woundest with thy Dart!

~ by Anacreon (6th Century B.C.)
translated by Robert Herrick (1591-1674)