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 Cumberland Lass
Anonymous
 
(c. 1674–80; from Pills to Purge Melancholy, 1719)

THERE was a Lass in Cumberland,
  A bonny Lass of high Degree:
There was a Lass, her Name was Nell,
  The blithest Lass that e’er you see:
Oh! to Bed to me, to Bed to me,        5
  The Lass that comes to Bed to me:
Blithe and bonny may she be,
  The Lass that comes to Bed to me.
 
Her Father lov’d her passing well,
  So did her Brother fancy Nell;        10
But all their Loves came short of mine,
  As far as Tweed is from the Tyne.
 
She had five Dollars in a Chest,
  Four of them she gave to me;
She cut her Mother’s Winding-Sheet,        15
  And all to make a sark for me.
 
She plucked a Box out of her Purse,
  Of four Gold Rings she gave me three;
She thought herself no whit the worse,
  She was so very kind to me.        20
 
If I were Lord of all the North,
  To Bed and Board she should be free,
For why, she is the bonniest Lass,
  That is in all her own Country.
 
Her Cherry-Cheeks and Ruby Lips,        25
  Doth with the Damask Rose agree,
With other Parts which I’ll not Name,
  Which are so pleasing unto me.
 
For I have rid both East and West,
  And been in many a strange Country,        30
Yet never met with so kind a Lass,
  Compared with Cumberland Nelly.
 
When I embrace her in my Arms,
  She takes it kind and courteously,
And hath such pretty winning Charms,        35
  The like whereof you ne’er did see:
 
There’s not a Lass in Cumberland
  To be compared to smiling Nell,
She hath so soft and white a Hand,
  And something more that I’ll not tell.        40
 
Up to my Chamber I her got,
  There I did treat her courteously,
I told her, I thought it was her Lot
  To stay all night and Lig with me.
 
She, pretty Rogue, could not say nay,        45
  But by consent we did agree,
That she for a fancy, there should stay,
  And come at night to Bed to me.
 
She made the Bed both broad and wide,
  And with her Hand she smoothed it down;        50
She kissed me thrice, and smiling said,
  My Love, I fear thou wilt sleep too soon.
 
Into my Bed I hasted strait,
  And presently she followed me,
It was in vain to make her wait,        55
  For a Bargain must a Bargain be.
 
Then I embraced this lovely Lass,
  And stroked her Wem so bonnily,
But for the rest we’ll let it pass,
  For she afterward sung Lullaby;        60
Oh! to Bed to me, to Bed to me,
  The Lass that came to Bed to me,
Blithe and Bonny sure was she,
  The Lass that came to Bed to me.
 
 
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