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 Bashful Lover
By Lewis Theobald (1688–1744)
(From The Lady’s Triumph, c. 1729)

ON a Bank of Flowers in a Summer’s Day,
  Inviting and undressed,
In her Bloom of Years bright Celia lay,
  With Love and Sleep oppress’d;
When a youthful Swain with admiring Eyes        5
Wish’d he durst the fair Maid surprise,
With a Fa, la, la, &c.
  But feared approaching Spies.
As he gazed, a gentle Breeze arose,
  That fanned her Robes aside;        10
And the sleeping Nymph did the Charms disclose,
  Which, waking, She would hide,
Then his Breath grew short, and his Pulse beat high,
  He longed to touch what he chanced to spy;
With a Fa, la, la, &c.        15
All amazed he stood, with her Beauties fired
  And blessed the courteous Wind;
Then in Whispers sighed, and the Gods desir’d,
  That Celia might be kind,
Then with Hope grown bold, he advanced again;        20
But she laughed loud in a Dream, and, again,
With a Fa, la, la, &c.
  Repell’d the tim’rous Swain.
Yet when once Desire has inflamed the Soul,
  All modest Doubts withdraw;        25
And the God of Love does each Fear control,
  That would the Lover awe.
Shall a Prize like this, says the vent’rous Boy,
’Scape, and I not the Means employ,
With a Fa, la, la, &c.        30
  To seize the proffer’d Toy?
Here the glowing Youth, to relieve his Pain,
  The slumb’ring Maid caressed;
And with trembling Hands (O the simple Swain!)
  Her glowing Bosom pressed:        35
When the Virgin waked, and affrighted flew,
Yet looked, as wishing he would pursue,
With a Fa, la, la, &c.
  But Damon miss’d his Cue.
Now, repenting that he had let her fly,        40
  Himself he thus accused;
What a dull and stupid Thing was I
  That such a chance abused?
To my Shame ’twill now on the Plains be said,
Damon a Virgin asleep betrayed,        45
With a Fa, la, la, &c.
  Yet let her go a Maid.

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