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.
Chaste Florimel
By Matthew Prior (1664–1721)

NO—I’ll endure ten thousand deaths,
  Ere any farther I’ll comply;
Oh! sir, no man on earth that breathes
  Had ever yet his hand so high!
Oh! take your sword, and pierce my heart,        5
  Undaunted see me meet the wound,
Oh! will you act a Tarquin’s part?
  A second Lucrece you have found.
Thus to the pressing Corydon,
  Poor Florimel, unhappy maid!        10
Fearing by love to be undone,
  In broken dying accents said.
Delia, who held the conscious door,
  Inspir’d by truth and brandy, smil’d,
Knowing that, sixteen months before,        15
  Our Lucrece had her second child.
And, hark ye! madam, cried the bawd,
  None of your flights, your high-rope dodging;
Be civil here, or march abroad;
  Oblige the squire, or quit the lodging.        20
Oh! have I—Florimel went on—
  Have I then lost my Delia’s aid?
Where shall forsaken virtue run,
  If by her friends she is betray’d?
Oh! curse on empty friendship’s name!        25
  Lord, what is all our future view!
Then, dear destroyer of my fame,
  Let my last succour be to you!
From Delia’s rage, and fortune’s frown,
  A wretched love-sick maid deliver!        30
Oh! tip me but another crown,
  Dear sir, and make me yours for ever.

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