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.
“Now That Love’s Holiday Is Come”
(From Pills to Purge Melancholy, 1707)

NOW that Love’s Holiday is come,
And Madge the Maid hath swept the room,
  And trimmed her Spit and Pot;
Awake my merry Muse and Sing,
The Revels and that other thing,        5
  That must not be forgot.
As the gray Morning dawned, ’tis said,
Clorinda broke out of her bed,
  Like Cynthia in her Pride,
Where all the Maiden Lights that were        10
Comprised within our Hemisphere,
  Attended at her side.
But wot you then, with much ado,
They dressed the Bride from top to toe!
  And brought her from her Chamber:        15
Decked in her Robes, and Garments gay,
More sumptuous than the live-long day,
  Or Stars enshrined in Amber.
The sparkling bullies of her Eyes,
Like two Eclipsed Suns did rise,        20
  Beneath her Crystal brow;
To show, like those strange accidents,
Some sudden changeable events,
  Were like to hap below.
Her cheeks bestreaked with white and red,        25
Like pretty tell-tales of the bed,
  Presaged the blust’ring night,
With his encircling arms and shade,
Resolved to swallow and invade,
  And screen her virgin light.        30
Her lips, those threads of Scarlet dye,
Wherein Love’s charms and quiver lie,
  Legions of sweets did crown,
Which smilingly did seem to say,
O crop me! crop me! whilst you may,        35
  Anon they’re not mine own.
Her breasts, those melting Alps of snow;
On whose fair hills in open show,
  The God of Love lay napping;
Like swelling Butts of lively wine,        40
Upon their Ivory Tilts did shine,
  To wait the lucky tapping.
Her waist, that tender type of man,
Was but a small and single span,
  Yet I dare safely swear,        45
He that whole thousands has in fee,
Would forfeit all, so he might be
  Lord of the Manor there.
But now before I pass the line,
Pray, Reader, give me leave to dine,        50
  And pause here in the middle;
The Bridegroom and the Parson knock,
With all the Hymeneal flock,
  The Plum-cake and the Fiddle.
Whenas the Priest Clarinda sees,        55
He stared, as’t had been half his fees,
  To gaze upon her face:
And if the spirit did not move,
His countenance was far above
  Each sinner in the place.        60
With mickle stir he joined their hands,
And hampered them in Marriage bands,
  As fast as fast may be:
Where still methinks, methinks, I hear,
That secret sigh in ev’ry ear,        65
  Once, love, remember me.
Which done, the Cook he knockt amain,
And up the dishes in a train
  Came smoking, two and two;
With that they wiped their Mouths and sate,        70
Some fell to quaffing, some to prate,
  Ay marry, and welcome too.
In pairs they thus impail’d the Meat,
Roger and Margaret, and Thomas and Kate,
  Ralph and Bess, Andrew and Maudlin;        75
And Valentine, eke with Sybil so sweet,
Whose Cheeks on each side of her Snuffers did meet,
  As round and as plump as a Codling.
When at the last they had fetched their frees,
And mired their stomachs quite up to their knees        80
  In Claret and good Cheer;
Then, then began the merry din,
For as it was they were all on the pin,
  O! what kissing and clipping was there.
But as Luck would have it, the Parson said grace,        85
And to frisking and dancing they shuffled apace,
  Each Lad took his Lass by the Fist,
And when he had squeezed her, and gamed her, until,
The fat of her face ran down like a mill,
  He toiled for the rest of the grist.        90
In Sweat and in Dust having wasted the Day,
They entered upon the last act of the play,
  The bride to her bed was conveyed,
Where knee-deep each hand fell down to the ground,
And in seeking the Garter much pleasure was found;        95
  ’Twould have made a man’s arm have strayed.
This clutter o’er Clorinda lay,
Half bedded, like the peeping day,
  Behind Olympus cap;
Whilst at her Head each twittering Girl,        100
The fatal Stocking quick did whirl,
  To know the lucky hap.
The Bridegroom in at last did rustle,
All disappointed in the bustle,
  The Maidens had shaved his breeches,        105
But let us not complain, ’tis well,
In such a storm I can you tell,
  He saved his other stitches.
And now he bounced into the Bed,
Even just as if a man had said,        110
  Fair Lady, have at all;
Where twisted at the Hug they lay,
Like Venus and the sprightly Boy,
  O! who would fear the Fall?
Thus both with Love’s sweet Taper fired,        115
And thousand balmy kisses tired,
  They could not wait the rest;
But out the folk and Candles fled,
And to’t they went, and what they did,
  There lies the Cream o’ the jest.        120

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