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 Choose a Friend, but Never Marry
(From Pills to Purge Melancholy, 1719)

TO all young Men that love to Woo,
To Kiss and Dance, and Tumble too;
Draw near and counsel take of me,
Your faithful Pilot I will be:
Kiss who you please, Joan, Kate, or Mary,        5
But still this Counsel with you carry,
                        Never Marry.
Court not a Country Lady, she
Knows not how to value thee;
She hath no am’rous Passion, but        10
What Tray, or Quando has for Slut:
To Lick, to Whine, to Frisk, or Cover,
She’ll suffer thee, or any other,
                    Thus to Love her.
Her Daughter she’s now come to Town,        15
In a rich Linsey Woolsey Gown;
About her Neck a valued Prize,
A Necklace made of Whitings Eyes:
With List for Garters ’bove her Knee,
And Breath that smells of Firmity,        20
                        ’s not for thee.
Of Widows’ Witchcrafts have a care,
For if they catch you in their Snare;
You must as daily Laborers do,
Be still a shoving with your Plow:        25
If any rest you do require,
They then deceive you of your Hire,
                            And retire.
The Maiden Ladies of the Town,
Are scarcely worth your throwing down;        30
For when you have possession got,
Or Venus Mark, or Honey-pot:
There’s such a stir with, marry me,
That one would half forswear to see
                            Any she.        35
If that thy Fancy do desire,
A glorious out-side, rich Attire;
Come to the Court, and there you’ll find,
Enough of such to Please your Mind:
But if you get too near their Lap,        40
You’re sure to meet with a Mishap.
                            Called a Clap.
With greasy painted Faces dressed,
With buttered Hair, and fucus’d Breast;
Tongues with Dissimulation tipped,        45
Lips which a Million have them sipped:
There’s nothing got by such as these,
But Aches in Shoulders, Pains in Knees
                            For your Fees.
In fine, if thou delight’st to be,        50
Concern’d in Woman’s Company:
Make it the Study of thy Life,
To find a Rich, young, handsome Wife:
That can with much discretion be
Dear to her Husband, kind to thee,        55
In such a Mistress, there’s the Bliss,
Ten Thousand Joys wrapt in a Kiss;
And in th’ Embraces of her Waist,
A Million more of Pleasures taste:        60
Who e’er would Marry that could be
Blest with such Opportunity,
                        Never me!

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