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 Ramblers
(From New Crazy Tales, 1783)

ONCE on a day when summer dressed the green,
And nought around but fragrant flowers were seen,
When golden Phoebus shot a gentle ray,
Olympus smiled and all the fields were gay.
Athwart the meads advanced a lovely pair,        5
Daphnis the young, and Rosalind the fair,
Of equal fortune both, of equal years,
Both warm in youth, and both devoid of cares,
With mutual ardour fired; as on they went,
The pleasing hours in amorous talk they spent.        10
The youth industrious to allure his love,
Brought every flower that bloomed in mead, or grove.
He culled the fairest to adorn her breast,
And fondly wished to be as closely pressed.
Now they arrive at the long wished for place,        15
Kind nature decked with a peculiar grace,
There cooling zephyrs found the opening glade,
There flowed a gentle stream, there rose an ambient shade.
As here they sat protected from the sun,
With a fond smile the loving youth begun.        20
“Beloved fair maid, how bounteous nature round,
With flowery gems bespangles all the ground;
Their birth to know, makes reasoning blockheads pause;
O blind to truth—productive love’s the cause.
When the soft cloud descends in kindly showers,        25
And through the earth its genial moisture pours,
The juice prolific makes each bud appear,
And thence arise the glories of the year.”
“The feathered wooers in the shady grove,
Fondly proclaim the energy of love,        30
The purling stream that flows beneath our feet,
Murmurs its love in melody so sweet.
Since then all things kind Venus’ transports know,
Oh, why should we the pleasing talk forego?
O let us now, the precious time employ,        35
While whisp’ring nature prompts us on to joy.”
Thus spoke the youth, and with a kiss instilled
The inviting passion—the warm virgin thrilled
In ev’ry vein—the ardour gains her heart;
But Miss must play the coy coquettish part.        40
Her heaving breasts with indignation swell;
She calls him villain, reprobate most fell.
The Phantom honor, starts before her eyes,
Rapid as lightning from the youth she flies.
He not to lose the conquest of the day,        45
Pursues the fair through every winding way.
At length she turns to make this stern reply;
“From whence, bold youth, take you this liberty?
Lost is my fame should we be seen alone.”
Of fame she talks, and in a haughty tone,        50
The youth persists his fair one to implore:
She still denies, but he still urges more.
Cupid by chance lit near them in the grove,
And saw the fond contention of their love.
The partial God to Daphnis’ succour flies,        55
Plies quick his bow, “Yield, yield fair maid,” he cries,
Stricken she feels love’s sharp resistless dart,
Sighs, falls, to Daphnis yields a willing heart,
Of conquest sure, the charmed, impatient boy,
Rushes, impetuous, to inviting joy.        60
Cupid around them draws a fragrant veil,
From prying eyes their raptures to conceal.
Soon as the endearments of their love were o’er,
And the God wafted to Idalia’s shore,
Exposed to sight shone Rosalinda’s charms;        65
The raptured youth lay panting in her arms.
Amazed they started as they heard me near:
He fled for shame, she cried, “Good sir, what cheer?”
Pray make no noise, for this is sacred ground,
I and my cousin have a bird’s nest found.        70
Did’st meet him, sir, he’s just about my age:
The bird belongs to him, but mine the cage.”
Smiling, I heard, and smiling went away,
Pleased at the adventure of the sportful day.

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