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Alciato's Book of Emblems

Emblem 155

On Death and Love

Death was wandering, his arm in that of his companion Cupid: Death was carrying the quiver, little Love his arrows. They stopped at the same time, and at the same time lay down for the night. Love was blind, and Death became blind at this time. Each picked up the other's uncaring arrows, Death the golden ones, and the youth the weapons made of bone. Thus, an old man who should now be in Acheron lo and behold falls in love and prepares floral garlands for his head. And, because Love has struck me with the wrong arrow, I am dying and the fates lay their hand upon me. Spare me, o youth; and Death, holding the standards of victory, spare me: make sure that I am the one who loves, and that the old man goes down to Acheron.