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.
“If You Will Love Me”
By Thomas D’Urfey (1653–1723)
(From Don Quixote, 1707)

IF you will love me, be free in expressing it;
  And henceforth give me no cause to complain;
Or if you hate me, be plain in confessing it,
  And in few Words put me out of my Pain.
This long delaying, with sighing and praying,        5
Breeds only decaying in Life and Amour,
                Cooing and wooing,
                And daily pursuing,
Is damned silly doing, therefore I’ll give o’er.
If you’ll propose a kind Method of ruling me,        10
  I may return to my Duty again;
But if you stick to your old way of fooling me,
  I must be plain, I’m none of your Men;
Passion for Passion on each kind Occasion,
With free Inclination does kindle Love’s Fire,        15
                But tedious prating,
                Coy folly debating,
And new Doubts creating still make it expire.

YOU love, and yet when I ask you to marry me,
  Still have recourse to the Tricks of your Art,        20
Then like a Fencer you cunningly parry me,
  Yet the same time make a Pass at my Heart.
                Fye, fye, deceiver,
                No longer endeavour,
Or think this way ever the Fort will be won;        25
                No fond caressing
                Must be, nor unlacing,
Or tender embracing, ’till the Parson has done.
Some say that Marriage a Dog with a Bottle is,
  Pleasing their Humours to rail at their Wives;        30
Others declare it an Ape with a Rattle is,
  Comfort’s Destroyer, and Plague of their Lives:
                Some are affirming,
                A Trap ’tis for Vermin,
And yet with the Bait tho’ not Prison agree,        35
                Ventring that choose you
                Must let me espouse you,
If e’er my dear Mouse you will nibble at me.

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