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 Nymph When As the Summer’s Beams”
(From Academy of Complements, c. 1650; p. 197)

A NYMPH when as the Summer’s beams
  Made hot the colder air,
Into a fountain’s Crystal streams,
  To bathe her did repair:
And by degrees she boldly did at length        5
  Those parts unhide:
Which to be bashful, nature made
  So curious to be spied.
Oft downward would she cast her head,
  And blushing look away;        10
Then twist her arms, and twine her thighs,
  As fearful to betray
Her self unto her fearful self:
  Thus frighted she at last,
Into the fountains swiftest streams,        15
  Her purest body cast.
The waves did proudly bear her up,
  And as she waded in the silver-brook,
Seem’d not to cleanse her as she swam,
  But from her purifying took.        20
And underneath the Crystal streams,
  As she did gliding pass,
She seemed like a Lily fair,
  That’s sunk into a glass.
And as she did her dainty arms        25
  In sundry sort display,
Ofttimes she would Narcissus-like
  With her own shadow play.
Oft would she lie upon her back:
  With legs and arms both spread,        30
And imitate those wanton joys,
  That women use in bed.
Women their modesty forget
  And often lay aside;
This Nymph, that thought herself unseen,        35
  Was by a Shepherd spy’d:
Who ravished with the sight he saw,
  No longer staid to woo her,
But flung away his hook and scrip,
  And boldly stept unto her.        40
She shrieking dived, thought to have hid
  Herself, but all in vain,
The Waters to preserve her life,
  Did bear her up again;
The Shepherd caught her in his arms,        45
  And laid her on the brink,
And what he did without delay,
  You know, or else may think.

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