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.
Be Not Afraid
Percy’s Folio Manuscript
(Anonymous, c. 1620–50)

“BE not afraid thou fairest, thou rarest
That ever was made! deny me not a kiss;
Then thou shalt see the Measure of pleasure
  that I will have from thee. What hurts there in this?
Then lets embrace, and let pleasure be free,        5
The world shall nere take notice how delightful [we be.]
“I see that spies, both peeping and creeping,
  in each corner lies to hinder all our joys;
But Cupid shall see, and find them, and blind them
  that hindrance will be to the getting of Boys.        10
      Then lets, etc.:
“Venus, Jupiter, fair nature, Dame creature,
  Made thee for delight, but yet for none but I;
Then lets embrace, and rifle and trifle,
  leave a Jewel in the place, but kept till you die.        15
      Then lets, etc.
“Nay pish! nay fie! you’ll venture to enter!
  a trespass so high, you’ll wish were undone;
Should any spie, they’ll wonder, look yonder;
  but you’ll not fly the place you have begun.        20
      Then lets, etc.
“Now you have enjoyed the Measure of pleasure,
  indeed I[’m] destroyed if you speak of it again;
For women do prove neglected, rejected,
  when freedom of love is known to other men.        25
Now you have enjoyed me, and all things be free,
In faith you’ll undo me if a telltale you be.
“Then here’s my heart! I’ll ever endeavor
  that we will never part till death assigns the time.
Were it not you, believe me it would grieve m[e]        30
  to do what I do; that love should be a crime;
But it is a fault of so sweet a degree,
That sure I am persuaded, court nor country be fr[ee.]”

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