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.
“Do Not Ask Me, Charming Phillis”
(From The New Academy of Compliments, 1671)

DO not ask me, charming Phillis,
  Why I lead you here alone
By this bank of pinks and lilies
  And of roses newly blown.
’Tis not to behold the beauty        5
  Of those flowers that crown the spring,
’Tis to—but I know my duty
  And dare never name the thing.
’Tis at worst but her denying:
  Why should I thus fearful be?        10
Every minute, gently flying,
  Smiles and says “Make use of me.”
What the sun does to those roses
  While the beams play sweetly in,
I would—but my fear opposes        15
  And I dare not name the thing.
Yet I die if I conceal it:
  Ask my eyes, or ask your own,
And if neither dare reveal it,
  Think what lovers think alone.        20
On this bank of pinks and lilies,
  Might I speak what I would do,
I would—with my lovely Phillis—
  I would—I would—ah, would you?

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