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 Song: “In vain, Clemene, you bestow”
By Charles Sackville, Earl of Dorset (1638–1706)
(Contributed to Southerne’s Sir Anthony Love, 1691)

IN vain, Clemene, you bestow
  The promised empire of your heart:
If you refuse to let me know
  The wealthy charms of every part.
My passion with your kindness grew,        5
  Tho’ beauty gave the first desire:
But beauty only to pursue
  Is following a wand’ring fire.
As hills in perspective suppress
  The free enquiry of the sight;        10
Restraint makes every pleasure less
  And takes from love the full delight.
Faint kisses may in part supply
  Those eager longings of my soul;
But oh! I’m lost if you deny        15
  A quick possession of the whole.

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