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.
Since We Poor Slavish Women Know
By William Wycherley (1640–1716)
(From Gentleman Dancing Master, 1672)

SINCE we poor slavish women know
  Our men we cannot pick and choose;
To him we like, why say we no?
  We both our time and labour lose:
By our put-offs, and fond delays,        5
  A Lover’s Appetite we pall;
And if too long the Gallant stays,
  His Stomach’s gone for good and all.
Or our impatient Amorous guest
  Unknown to us away may steal,        10
And rather than stay for a feast
  Take up with some course ready meal.
When opportunity is kind,
  Let prudent women be so too;
And if a man be to her mind,        15
  Till, till,—she must not let him go.
The match soon made is happy still,
  For only love, ’tis best to do;
For none should marry ’gainst their will,
  But stand off when their Parents woo,        20
And only to their Suits be coy;
  For she whom Jointures can obtain
To let a Fop her bed enjoy,
  Is but a lawful wench for gain.

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