Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
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T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
 
The Northern Ditty
By Thomas D’Urfey (1653–1723)
 
(Roxburgh Ballads, ii. 374; words D’Urfey)

COLD and Raw the North did blow,
  Bleak in the morning early;
All the Trees were hid with Snow,
  Cover’d with Winter’s fearly:
As I came riding o’er the Slough,        5
  I met with a Farmer’s Daughter;
Rosie Cheeks and bonny Brow,
  Geud Faith made my mouth to water.
 
Down I vail’d my Bonnet low,
  Meaning to shew my breeding,        10
She return’d a graceful bow,
  Her Visage far exceeding;
I ask’d her where she went so soon,
  And long’d to begin a Parley;
She told me into the next Market-Town,        15
  A purpose to sell her Barley.
 
In this Purse, sweet Soul, said I,
  Twenty pound lies fairly,
Seek no farther one to buy,
  For I’ll take all thy Barley;        20
Twenty more shall purchase delight,
  Thy Person I Love so dearly,
If thou wilt lig by me all night,
  And gang home in the morning early.
 
If Forty pound would buy the Globe,        25
  This I’d not do, Sir:
Or were my Friends as poor as Job,
  I’d never raise ’em so, Sir:
For shou’d you prove to-night, my Friend,
  We’d get a young Kid together,        30
And you’d be gone ere nine Months end,
  And where should I find the Father?
 
Pray what would my Parents say,
  If I should be so silly,
To give my Maidenhead away,        35
  And lose my true Love Billy?
Oh, this would bring me to Disgrace,
  And therefore I say you nay, Sir;
And if that me you would Embrace,
  First Marry, and then you may, Sir.        40
 
I told her I had Wedded been,
  Fourteen years and longer,
Else I’d choose her for my Queen,
  And tie the Knot yet stronger.
She bid me then no farther roam,        45
  But manage my Wedlock fairly,
And keep my Purse for my Spouse at home,
  For some other shall have her Barley.
 
Then as swift as any Roe,
  She rode away and left me;        50
After her I could not go,
  Of Joy she quite bereft me:
Thus I myself did disappoint,
  For she did leave me fairly,
My words knocked all things out of joint,        55
  I lost both the maid and barley.
 
 
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