“Cupid Benighted”


On a rainy night, the singer is awakened by a knocking at the door. It proves to be a winged boy with a bow (obviously Cupid). Once dry, he departs, saying, "My bow is not damaged / Nor yet is my dart / but you will have trouble / In bearing the smart"

Supplemental text

Cupid Benighted
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

The White-Headed Boy

From Helen Hartness Flanders and Marguerite Olney, Ballads
Migrant in New England, pp. 180-181. Apparently from the
notebook of Catherine Amelia P. Hall (died 1869).

In the dead of the night
When labours was at rest
All mortals snjoyed
The sweet blefsingsf (sic.) of rest

A boy rapt at my door
And I woke with the nois (sic.)
Who is there
My rest to distroy (sic.)

(6 additional stanzas, one of which is probably a double stanza)


Helen Flanders believes this piece to be based on the third Ode of Anacreon (floriut sixth century B.C.E.) The theme is obviously similar; presumably some broadside brought the song to popular consciousness.

Spaeth reports a piece by [Samuel?] Arnold called "Cupid Benighted," from 1795; I assume they are the same, but cannot prove it. - RBW


  1. Flanders/Olney, pp. 180-183, "The White-Headed Boy" (1 traditional text plus the Songster's Companion version; also a copy of Derby's translation of Anacreon)
  2. ST FO180 (Partial)
  3. Roud #4688
  4. BI, FO180


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1815 (The Songster's Companion)
Keywords: supernatural gods
Found in: US(NE)