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 Present to a Lady
(From Merry Drollery, 1691)

LADIES, I do here present you
With a token Love hath sent you;
’Tis a thing to sport and play with,
Such another pretty thing
For to pass the time away with;        5
Prettier sport was never seen;
Name I will not, nor define it,
Sure I am you may divine it:
By those modest looks I guess it,
And those eyes so full of fire,        10
That I need no more express it,
But leave your fancies to admire.
Yet as much of it be spoken
In the praise of this love-token:
’Tis a wash that far surpasseth        15
For the cleansing of your blood,
All the Saints may bless your faces,
Yet not do you so much good.
Were you ne’er so melancholy,
It will make you blithe and jolly;        20
Go no more, no more admiring,
When you feel your spleen’s amiss,
For all the drinks of Steel and Iron
Never did such cures as this.
It was born in th’ Isle of Man        25
Venus nurs’d it with her hand,
She puffed it up with milk and pap,
And lull’d it in her wanton lap,
So ever since this Monster can
In no place else with pleasure stand.        30
Colossus like, between two Rocks,
I have seen him stand and shake his locks,
And when I have heard the names
Of the sweet Saterian Dames,
O he’s a Champion for a Queen,        35
’Tis pity but he should be seen.
Nature, that made him, was so wise
As to give him neither tongue nor eyes,
Supposing he was born to be
The instrument of Jealousie,        40
Yet here he can, as Poets feign,
Cure a Ladies love-sick brain.
He was the first that did betray
To mortal eyes the milky way;
He is the Proteus cunning Ape        45
That will beget you any shape;
Give him but leave to act his part,
And he’ll revive your saddest heart.
Though he want legs, yet he can stand,
With the least touch of your soft hand;        50
And though, like Cupid, he be blind,
There’s never a hole but he can find;
If by all this you do not know it,
Pray, Ladies, give me leave to show it.

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