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.
State and Ambition, Alas! Will Deceive Ye
(A Song set to a New Playhouse Tune, 1719)

STATE and Ambition, alas! will deceive ye,
  There’s no solid Joy but the Blessing of Love;
Scorn does of Pleasure fair Sylvia bereave ye,
  Your Fame is not perfect till that you remove:
Monarchs that sway the vast Globe in their Glory,        5
  Know Love is their brightest Jewel of Power;
Poor Philemon’s Heart was ordained to adore ye,
  Ah! then disdain his Passion no more.
Jove on his Throne was the Victim of Beauty,
  His thunder laid by, he from Heaven came down;        10
Shaped like a Swan, to fair Leda paid Duty,
  And prized her far more than his Heavenly crown:
She too was pleased with her beautiful Lover,
  And stroak’d his white Plumes, and feasted her Eye;
His cunning in Loving knew well how to move her,        15
  By Billing begins the business of Joy.
Since Divine Powers Examples have given,
  If we should not follow their Precepts, we sin:
Sure ’twill appear an Affront to their Heaven,
  If when the Gate opens we enter not in.        20
Beauty, my Dearest, was from the beginning,
  Created to calm our Amorous Rage;
And she that against that Decree will be sinning,
  In Youth still will find the Curse of old Age.

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