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 Maid’s Comfort
Roxburghe Ballads
(Anonymous. From The Roxburghe Ballads, Vol. II. 1874)

DOWN in a garden sits my dearest Love,
  Her skin more white than is the Down of Swan,
More tender-hearted than the Turtle Dove,
  And far more kind than is the Pelican;
I courted her, she blushing, rose and said,        5
“Why was I born to live and die a Maid?”
“If that be all your grief, my Sweet,” said I,
  “I soon shall ease you of your care and pain,—
Yielding a mean to cure your misery,
  That you no more shall cause have to complain,        10
Then be content, Sweeting,” to her, I said;
“Be ruled by me, thou shalt not die a Maid.
“A Medicine for thy grief I can procure,
  Then wail no more (my Sweet) in discontent;
My love to thee for ever shall endure,        15
  I’ll give no cause whereby thou shouldst repent
The Match we make; for I will constant prove
To thee my Sweeting, and my dearest Love.
“Then sigh no more, but wipe thy wat’ry eyes,
  Be not perplexed, my Honey, at the heart:        20
Thy beauty doth my heart and thoughts surprise;
  Then yield me love, to end my burning smart:
Shrink not from me, my bonny Love,” I said;
“For I have vowed, thou shall not die a Maid.
“Pity it were, so fair a one as you,        25
  Adorned with Nature’s chiefest Ornaments,
Should languish thus in pain, I tell you true:
  Yielding in love, all danger still prevents;
Then seem not coy, nor, Love, be not afraid,
But yield to me: thou shalt not die a Maid.        30
“Yield me some comfort, Sweeting, I entreat,
  For I am now tormented at the heart,
My affection’s pure, my love to thee is great,
  Which makes me thus my thoughts to thee impart:
I love thee dear, and shall do evermore;        35
O pity me; for love I now implore!”
For her I plucked a pretty Marigold,
  Whose leaves shut up even with the Evening Sun,
Saying, “Sweetheart, look now, and do behold
  A pretty Riddle in it to be shown:        40
This Leaf shut in, even like a Cloistered Nun,
Yet will it open when it feels the Sun.
“What mean you by this Riddle, Sir?” she said;
  “I pray expound it.” Then he thus began:
“Women were made for Men, and Men for Maids.”        45
  With that she changed her colour, and looked wan.
“Since you this Riddle to me so well have told,
Be you my Sun, I’ll be your Marigold.”
I GAVE consent, and thereto did agree
  To sport with her within that lovely Bower:        50
I pleasèd her, and she likewise pleased me—
  Jove found such pleasures in a Golden Shower.
Our Sports being ended, then she, blushing, said,
“I have my wish, for now I am no Maid.
“But, Sir,” (quoth she,) “from me you must not part,        55
  Your company so well I do effect;
My love you have, now you have won my heart,
  Your loving self for ever I respect:
Then go not from me, gentle Sir,” quoth she,
“’Tis death to part, my gentle Love, from thee.        60
“The kindness you, good Sir, to me have shown,
  Shall never be forgot, whilst Life remains:
Grant me thy love, and I will be thine own,
  Yield her relief, that now for love complains:
O leave me not, to languish in despair,        65
But stay with me, to ease my heart of care.
“Your Marigold for ever I will be;
  Be you my Sun; ’tis all I do desire:
Your heating Beams yield comfort unto me,
  My love to you is fervent and entire—        70
Let yours, good Sir, I pray be so to me,
For I hold you my chief felicity.
“Content within your company I find,
  Yield me some comfort, gentle Sir, I pray,
To ease my grief and my tormented mind:        75
  My love is firm, and never shall decay:
So constant still (my Sweet,) I’ll prove to you,
Loyal in thoughts, my love shall still be true.”
“Content thyself,” (quoth he,) “my only Dear,
  In love to thee I will remain as pure        80
As Turtle to her Mate: to thee I swear
  My constant love for ever shall endure:
Then weep no more, sweet comfort I’ll thee yield,
Thy beauteous Face my heart hath filled.”
Comfort she found, and straight was made a Wife;        85
  It was the only thing she did desire:
And she enjoys a Man loves her as life,
  And will do ever, till his date expire.
And this for truth, report hast to me told,
He is her Sun, and she his Marigold.        90

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