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.
Calm Was the Evening, and Clear Was the Sky
By John Dryden (1631–1700)
(From An Evening’s Love, 1671)

  CALM was the Evening, and clear was the Sky,
And the new-budding Flowers did spring,
When all alone went Amyntas and I
To hear the sweet Nightingale sing.
I sate, and he laid him down by me,        5
And scarcely his breath he could draw,
  But when with a fear,
  He began to draw near,
He was dash’d with A ha, ha, ha.
  He blush’d to himself, and lay still for awhile,        10
And his modesty curb’d his desire,
But straight I convinc’d all his fears with a smile,
Which added new flames to his fire.
O Sylvia, said he, you are cruel,
To keep your poor Lover in awe,        15
  Then once more he prest
  With his hands to my breast,
But was dash’d with A ha, ha, ha.
  I knew ’twas his passion that caus’d all his fear,
And therefore I pitied his case,        20
I whisper’d him softly, there’s nobody here,
And laid my cheek close to his face:
But as he grew bolder and bolder,
A shepherd came by us and saw,
  And just as our bliss        25
  We began with a Kiss;
He burst out with A Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha.

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