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.
“At Noon in a Sultry Summer’s Day”
By Charles Sackville, Earl of Dorset (1638–1706)
(c. 1682)

AT Noon in a sultry Summer’s Day,
The brightest Lady of the May,
Young Chloris Innocent and Gay,
  Sat Knitting in a shade:
Each slender Finger play’d its part,        5
With such activity and Art;
As wou’d inflame a Youthful Heart,
  And warm the most decayed.
Her Fav’rite Swain by chance came by;
She had him quickly in her Eye,        10
Yet when the bashful Boy drew nigh,
  She would have seemed afraid.
She let her Iv’ry Needle fall,
And hurled away the twisted Ball;
Then gave her Strephon such a call,        15
  As would have waked the Dead.
Dear gentle Youth, is’t none but thee?
With Innocence I dare be free;
By so much Trust and Modesty,
  No nymph was e’er betrayed.        20
Come lean thy Head upon my lap,
While thy soft Cheeks I stroke and clap;
Thou may’st securely take a Nap,
  Which he, poor Fool, obeyed.
She saw him Yawn, and heard him Snore,        25
And found him fast asleep all o’er;
She Sighed—and could endure no more,
  But starting up she said,
Such Virtue should rewarded be,
For this thy dull Fidelity;        30
I’ll trust thee with my Flocks, not me,
  Pursue thy Grazing Trade;
Go milk thy Goats, and Shear thy Sheep,
And watch all Night thy Flocks, to keep;
Thou shalt no more be lulled asleep        35
  By me mistaken Maid.

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