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 Fornicator
By Robert Burns (1759–1796)
(From The Merry Muses of Caledonia)

YOU Jovial boys who love the joys,
  The blessfu’ joys of lovers;
An’ dare avow’t wi’ daintless brow,
  Whate’er the lass discovers;
I pray draw near, and you shall hear,        5
  An’ welcome in a frater,
I’ve lately been on quarantine,
  A proven Fornicator.
Before the congregation wide,
  I past the muster fairly;        10
My handsome Betsey by my side,
  We gat our ditty rarely.
My downcast eye, by chance did spy,
  What made my mouth to water,
Those limbs sae clean, where I between        15
  Commenced Fornicator.
Wi’ rueful face and signs o’ grace,
  I paid the buttock hire;
The night was dark, and thro’ the park
  I cou’dna but convoy her;        20
A parting kiss, what cou’d I less,
  My vows began to scatter;
Sweet Betsey fell, fal lal de ral!
  I am a Fornicator.
But, by the sun an’ moon I swear,        25
  An’ I’ll fulfil ilk hair o’t,
That while I own a single crown,
  She’s welcome to a share o’t;
My rouguish boy, his mother’s joy,
  An’ darling of his pater,        30
I for his sake the name will take,
  A harden’d Fornicator.

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