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.
A Scene from “The Tragedy of Nero”
(From the anonymous play, 1624; Act II. Scene I.)

HERE waits Poppæa her Nimphidius’ coming,
And hath this garden and green walks chose out
To bless them with more pleasures than their own.
Not only arras hangings and silk beds
Are guilty of the faults we blame them for:        5
Somewhat these arbours and yon trees do know,
Whilst your kind shades you to these night sports show.
Night sports? Faith, they are done in open day
And the sun seeth and envieth their play.
Hither have I love-sick Antonius brought        10
And thrust him on occasion so long sought;
Showed him the empress in a thicket by,
Her love’s approach waiting with greedy eye;
And told him, if he ever meant to prove
The doubtful issue of his hopeful love,        15
This is the place and time wherein to try it;
Women will hear the suit that will deny it.
The suit’s not hard that she comes for to take;
Who, hot in lust of men, doth difference make?
At last forth, willing, to her did he pace:        20
Arm him, Priapus, with thy powerful mace.
But see, they coming are; how they agree
Here will I harken; shroud me, gentle tree.

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