This print of The Disarming of Cupid resides in the Special Collections (along with dozens of other Shakespearean prints). It is a steel-plate engraving, crafted by William Edward Frost in 1850, and was likely taken from Charles Knight’s two-volume Imperial Edition of The Works of Shakespere (London: Virtue and Company, 1873-76). The original Disarming of Cupid is part of the Queen’s Royal Collection. The print is an illustration of Shakespeare’s 154th Sonnet which appears below in its entirity:
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
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,
Growing a bath and healthful remedy
For men diseased; but I, my mistress’ thrall,
Came there for cure, and this by that I prove,
Love’s fire heats water, water cools not love.
Happy Valentine’s Day from the Special Collections!