William Shakespeare. 1564–1616

Sonnet CLIV.

“The little Love-god lying once asleep”

THE LITTLE Love-god lying once asleep  
Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand,  
Whilst many nymphs that vow’d chaste life to keep  
Came tripping by; but in her maiden hand  
The fairest votary took up that fire    5
Which many legions of true hearts had warm’d;  
And so the general of hot desire  
Was, sleeping, by a virgin hand disarm’d.  
This brand she quenched in a cool well by,  
Which from Love’s fire took heat perpetual,   10
Growing a bath and healthful remedy  
For men diseas’d; but I, my mistress’ thrall,  
  Came there for cure, and this by that I prove,  
  Love’s fire heats water, water cools not love.