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.
Come, Wanton Wenches
(From The Percy Folio Manuscript, 1620–50, page 404 of MS.)

COME all you wanton wenches
  That longs to be in trading,
Come learn of me, loves Mistress
  To keep your selves from Jadeing!
When you expose your faces,        5
  All baites for to entrap men,
Then have a care to husband your ware,
  That you prove not bankrout chapmen,
Be not at first too nice nor coy
  When gamesters you are courting,        10
  Nor forward to be sporting;
In speeches free, not in action be,
  For fear of less resorting.
Let not your outward gesture
  Betray your inward passion;        15
But seem to neglect, when most you do affect,
  In a cunning scornful fashion.
Be sparing of your favors
  When men’s love grow most eager;
Yet keep good guard, or else all is marred.        20
  When they your fort beleagar;
Grant but a touch or a kiss for a taste,
  And seem not to be willing
  Always for to be billing.
With a touch or a pinch, or a nip or a wrench,        25
  Disappoint their hopes fulfilling.
If once you grow too lavish,
  And all your wealth discover,
You cast off hope; for then with too much scope
  You do dull your Eager lover.        30
Then order so your treasure,
  And so dispend your store,
That tho’ men do taste, their loves may never waste,
  But they still may hope for more.
And if by chance, being wrapt in a trance,        35
  You yield them full fruition
  Won by strong opposition,
Yet nip and tear, and with pouting swear
  ’Twas against your disposition.
Thus seeming much displeased        40
  With that did most content,
You whet desire, and daily add fire
  To a spirit almost spent.
Be sure at the next encounter
  You put your love to strive;        45
Yet be not rude, if need he will intrude,
  So shall your trading thrive,
So shall you still be freshly wooed,
  Like to a perfect maid.
  And do as I have said,        50
Your faining seems true,
And like Venus ever new,
  And your trading is not betrayed.

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