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.
To a Young Lady Leaning out of Her Window
By Thomas Brown (1662–1704)
WHEN Venus naked from the sea arose,
She did not half so many charms expose,
Nor when for the decisive fruit she strove,
Showed Paris half so rich a view of love:
Nay, when she clasped Adonis in her arms,        5
The melting Goddess had not half your charms:
Less firm her snowy breasts, her skin less white,
Her lovely limbs less tempting to delight.
How then shall we express those charms below,
Which you and nature both forbear to show?        10
So fair an hostess, and so fair a sign,
Would force a trade, and recommend bad wine.
Water from such a spring is sweeter far,
Than all the clusters of the vintage are.
Let Bacchanalians and the empty beaux,        15
Hunt out Champagne, Burgundy, and Bordeaux.
To fetch some drops from that dear shady well,
Would all the nectar of the gods excel;
Your eyes assure us that you can dispense
Peculiar joys for each peculiar sense.        20
Then having let us see, pray let us taste
Those dear concealed delights below the waist;
’Twere madness to expect to keep one’s heart,
When Cupid lies entrenched in every part.
How shall we guard our freedom from surprise,        25
When your least charms are in your conquering eyes?

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