Once as I lay, by heavy sleep oppress'd,
With this strange whim my fancy was possess'd:
I dreamt that Cupid call'd me to his court
On Mount Cithera, where his slaves resort;
Where Venus, queen and goddess, fills the throne,
Her kingdom sharing with her darling son;
There was I straight commanded to appear,
By Mercury, the winged messenger.
Away I went, through strange and distant lands,
The coast enquiring where love's palace stands
At last a crowd of travellers I found,
And ask'd them whither they so fast were bound.
One, looking like a maid, cried, "Gentle friend,
To Cupid's court our willing steps we bend."
"Oh, where's his court?" said I. The nymph replied,
"High on Cithera stands, with tow'ring pride,
A stately castle, his imperial seat,
In which he lives magnificently great."
Her steps I follow'd, till my eager sight,
Reaching the hill, found her description right;
Amaz'd I saw the building large and strong,
Vast were the domes, the marble turrets long;
But gold and jewels hid the massy stone
And stretching to the skies, with lustre shone:
Sapphires and rubies mingled various lights,
More sparkling than the stars in winter nights:
And Phoebus darted on tnis happy place
His lustre, to regain the queen's good grace;
For chancing once unluckily to find
Mars in her arms, he had enrag'd her mind;
But now to please th' offended queen he strove,
Which shew'd his longing for the sweets of love:
For all the gods that on Olympus dwell,
E'en Jove and Pluto, kings of heaven and hell,
All things that live on earth, or breathe above,
The mighty joys of this best realm approve.

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