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.
To Lydia
By Joannes Secundus (1511–1536)
(Translated by John Nott)

LOVELY Lydia! lovely maid!
Either rose in thee’s displayed;
Roses of a blushing red,
O’er thy lips and cheeks are shed:
Roses of a paly hue        5
In thy fairer charms we view.
Now thy braided hair unbind;
Now luxuriant, unconfined,
Let thy wavy tresses flow;
Tresses bright, of burnished glow!        10
Bare thy ivory neck, my fair!
Now thy snowy shoulders bare:
Bid the vivid lustre rise,
In thy passion-streaming eyes;
See, the lucent meteors gleam!        15
See, they speak the wishful flame!
And how gracefully above,
Modelled from the bow of love,
Are thy arching brows displayed,
Soft’ning in a sable shade!        20
Let a warmer crimson streak
The velvet of thy downey cheek:
Let thy lips, that breathe perfume,
Deeper purple now assume:
Give me little billing kisses,        25
Intermixt with murm’ring blisses.
Soft! my love!—my angel, stay!—
Soft!—you suck my breath away:
Drink the life-drops of my heart;
Draw my soul from every part:        30
Scarce my senses can sustain,
So much pleasure, so much pain!
Hide thy broad, voluptuous breast!
Hide that balmy heaven of rest!
See, to feast the enamoured eyes,        35
How the snowy hillocks rise,
Parted by the luscious vale,
Whence luxurious sweets exhale:
Nature framed thee but t’inspire,
Never-ending, fond desire!        40
Again, above its envious vest,
See, thy bosom heaves confest!
Hide the rapturous dear delight!
Hide it from my ravished sight!
Hide it!—for through all my soul        45
Tides of madd’ning transport roll:
Venting now the impassioned sigh,
See me languish, see me die!
Tear not from me then thy charms!
Snatch, oh, snatch me to thine arms!        50
With a life-inspiring kiss,
Wake my sinking soul to bliss!

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