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.
Songs from Plays
By Susanna Centlivre (1667?–1723)

THE DEVIL a bit care I for a wife,
  So I have but wine and a fire;
A wench when I please my passion to ease,
  The devil a wife I desire.
*        *        *        *        *
To gain all women there’s a certain rule:        5
If wit should fail to please, then act the fool;
And where you find simplicity not take,
Throw off disguises, and profess the rake;
Observe which way their strongest humours run,
They’re by their own lov’d cant the surest way undone.
*        *        *        *        *
Each trifling toy would tempt in times of old,
Now nothing melts a woman’s heart like gold.
Some bargains drive, others more nice than they,
Who’d have you think they scorn to kiss for pay;
To purchase them you must lose deep at play.        15
With several women, several ways prevail;
But gold’s a certain way that cannot fail.

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