Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
Three Songs from “The Maid’s Tragedy”
By Francis Beaumont (1584–1616) and John Fletcher (1579–1625)
(From Act I.)

CYNTHIA, to thy power and thee,
                We obey.
Joy to this great company!
            And no day
Come to steal this night away,        5
  Till the rites of love are ended;
And the lusty bridegroom say,
  Welcome, light, of all befriended.
Pace out, you watery powers below;
            Let your feet,        10
Like the gallies when they row,
                Even beat.
Let your unknown measures, set
  To the still winds, tell to all,
That gods are come, immortal, great,        15
  To honour this great nuptial.
HOLD back thy hours, dark Night, till we have done;
            The day will come too soon;
Young maids will curse thee if thou steal’st away,
And leav’st their losses open to the day:        20
            Stay, stay, and hide
            The blushes of the bride.
Stay, gentle Night, and with thy darkness cover
            The kisses of her lover.
Stay, and confound her tears, and her shrill cryings,        25
Her weak denials, vows, and often dyings;
            Stay, and hide all:
            But help not, though she call.
TO bed, to bed; come Hymen, lead the bride,
And lay her by her husband’s side;        30
        Bring in the virgins every one,
        That grieve to lie alone:
That they may kiss while they may say, a maid;
To-morrow, ’twill be other, kiss’d, and said.
        Hesperus be long a-shining,        35
        Whilst these lovers are a-twining.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.