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.
The Surpris’d Nymph
(From Pills to Purge Melancholy, 1707)

THE FOUR and twentieth day of May,
  Of all days in the year;
A Virgin Lady fresh and gay,
  Did privately appear:
Hard by a River side got she,        5
  And did sing loud the rather;
Cause she was sure, she was secure,
  And had intent to bathe her.
With glittering, glancing, jealous Eyes,
  She slyly looks about;        10
To see if any lurking Spies
  Were hid to find her out:
And being well resolved that none,
  Could see her Nakedness,
She pulled her Robes off one by one,        15
  And did her self undress.
Her purple Mantle fring’d with Gold,
  Her Ivory Hands unpinned;
It would have made a Coward bold,
  Or tempted a Saint to ’a sinned:        20
She turned about and looked around,
  Quoth she, I hope I’m safe;
Then her rosie Petticoat,
  She presently put off.
The snow white Smock which she had on,        25
  Transparently to deck her,
Look’d like Cambric or Lawn,
  Upon an Alabaster Picture:
Thro’ which Array I did faintly spy
  Her Belly and her Back;        30
Her Limbs were straight, and all was white,
  But that which should be Black.
Into a fluent Stream she leapt,
  She looked like Venus Glass;
The Fishes from all Quarters crept,        35
  To see what Angel ’twas:
She did so like a Vision look,
  Or Fancy in a Dream;
’Twas thought the Sun the Skies forsook,
  And dropt into the Stream.        40
Each Fish did wish himself a Man,
  About her all was drawn,
And at the Sight of her began
  To spread abroad their Spawn:
She turned to swim upon her Back,        45
  And so display’d her Banner;
If Jove had then in Heaven been,
  He would have dropt upon her.
A Lad that long her Love had been,
  And could obtain no Grace,        50
For all her prying lay unseen,
  Hid in a secret place:
Who had often been repuls’d,
  When he did come to Woo her;
Pulled off his clothes, and furiously        55
  Did run and leap into her.
She squeaked, she cried, and down she dived,
  He brought her up again;
He brought o’er upon the Shore,
  And then—and then—and then—        60
As Adam did Old Eve enjoy,
  You may guess what I mean;
Because she all uncovered lay,
  He covered her again.
With watered Eyes she pants and cries,        65
  I’m utterly undone;
If you will not be wed to me,
  E’er the next Morning Sun:
He answered her he ne’er would stir,
  Out of her Sight till then;        70
We’ll both clap Hands in Wedlock Bands,
  Marry, and to’t again.

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