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.
A Une Rebelle
By Pierre St. Ardienne
(From the French of Ibykos de Rhodes)

THEY say that you refuse to hear my prayer, O pale Hippolyte. Father Aristophanes tells me that you want to remain chaste.
Fool! This is mere illusion!
You must learn that Nature wishes, everywhere, the swoonings, the raptures, the ecstasies of dishevelled youths. Nature is strong. No woman, however ugly—and you are adorable, O my Hippolyte—has escaped the pangs of desire.
Couch yourself naked, this evening, in your lonely bed, and think of me before you drift to sleep.
Think of my heavy profile, of perfect design!        5
Think of my hair which has the shade of violets in the moss and which undulates on my little ivory forehead!
Think of my eye-brows, black and joined, of my blue-green eyes which burn with a madness and of the smile of my indefatigable mouth!
Think of my proud breasts which swell my purple tunic!
Think of my fresh arms and my burning thighs!
Think of my fingers, the light fingers of a lyre-player!        10
Think of my treasure, almost hermaphrodite!
Then, to-morrow morning, your eyes shall be rimmed with dark circles, O Hippolyte, seeker of vain chimeras! You will come to the Palace of Sappho, you will sound at the great door of the park, and my pupils, your comrades, casting roses under your sandals, singing an epithalamium, will escort you to the terrace where your Cydno, standing, gloriously nude, defying the sun, holds out her arms to you!
You possess the most admirable qualities in the world, O Syrinx!
You are, at the same time, slender as a runner and plump as a quail, white as a white camelia, and red, where it is becoming, as a red peony, appetizing as a young girl and lively as a matron.
I am your acknowledged slave…. But, on the next occasion, pare more carefully the nail of your virile finger: you have scratched me!        15
Your breasts are golden apples from the garden of Hesperides, O Syrinx!
Why do you persist in withholding the surrender of your graceful body?
Behold this grey hair in my brown curl: it is the first, I swear, O Syrinx, and your cruelty is the cause of it.
Lalage, pardon me these three days of sulking!
The hateful old trouble-maker Sophrona said that you speak ill of me. That is why I no longer salute you in passing before your glycins and your rhododendrons.        20
Pardon me, smile of Lesbos!
Scandalize as much as it pleases you, radiant Lalage, accuse me of being old, of being ugly, of sleeping with a man, a Danish dog, an Egyptian ass or a negro slave, it matters not to me if I may but hear again your sweet laugh, your honeyed voice!

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