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.
Youth and Lordship
By Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882)
(Italian Street-Song)

MY young lord’s the lover
  Of earth and sky above,
Of youth’s sway and youth’s play,
  Of songs and flowers and love.
Yet for love’s desire        5
  Green youth lacks the daring;
Though one dream of fire,
  All his hours ensnaring,
  Burns the boy past bearing,—
The dream that girls inspire.        10
My young lord’s the lover
  Of every burning thought
That Love’s will, that Love’s skill
  Within his breast has wrought.
Lovely girl, look on him        15
  Soft as music’s measure;
Yield him, when you’ve won him,
  Joys and toys at pleasure;
  But to win your treasure,
Softly look upon him.        20
My young lord’s the lover
  Of every tender grace
That woman, to woo man,
  Can wear in form or face.
Take him to your bosom        25
  Now, girl, or never;
Let not your new blossom
  Of sweet kisses sever;
  Only guard for ever
Your boast within your bosom.        30
My young lord’s the lover
  Of every secret thing,
Love-hidden, love-hidden
  This day to banqueting.
Lovely girl, with vaunting        35
  Never tempt to-morrow:
From all shapes enchanting
  And joy can borrow,
  Still the spectre Sorrow
Rises up for haunting.        40
And now my lord’s the lover
  Of ah! so many a sweet,—
Of roses, of spouses,
  As many as love may greet.

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