|Venus and Adonis by A. Canova|
Adonis falls asleep in the small valley ("it" below, in line 1, refers to a hill). And Venus bumps into him. The episode reverses the scene, frequent in art, in which a satyr, etc., admires Venus or another beautiful woman asleep. As it has been told much time ago, the whole love affair between Venus and Adonis is caused by Love/Cupid's thirst for revenge after having been spanked by his mother. The last line has a general, symbolical meaning insofar as the arrow will actually wound Venus no sooner than in stanza 43.
At the foot of it, Chloris has her gardens; a nymph
here the goddess of Love often returns
to gather the wet and dewy herbs to odori (herbs) like in some dialects
give lukewarm baths to her white feet.
And lo! on a bridal bed of flowers
she—arriving by chance—sees the boy.
But, as she turns her eyes toward Adonis,
cruel Love turns his arrow toward her.
(to be continued after the Christmas holidays)