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.
Cuckold’s Haven
Roxburghe Ballads
(Anonymous. Vol. I. 1871)

COME, neighbors, follow me, that cuckolized be,
That all the town may see our slavish misery:
Let every man who keeps a bride
Take heed he be not hornified.
Though narrowly I do watch,        5
And use lock, bolt and latch,
My wife will me o’er match,
My forehead I may scratch:
For though I wait both time and tide,
I oftentimes am hornified.        10
For now the time’s so grown,
Men cannot keep their own,
But every slave, unknown,
Will reap what we have sown:
Yea, though we keep them by our side,        15
We now and then are hornified.
They have so many ways
By nights or else by days,
That though our wealth decays,
Yet they our horns will raise:        20
And many of them take a pride
To keep their husbands hornified.
Oh what a case is this! oh, what a grief it is!
My wife hath learned to kiss
And thinks it not amiss:        25
She oftentimes doth me deride,
And tells me, I am hornified.
What ever I do say,
She will have her own way;
She scorneth to obey;        30
She’ll take time while she may;
And if I beat her back and side
In spite, I shall be hornified.
Now you would little think
How they will friendly link,        35
And how’ll they sit and drink
Till they begin to wink:
And then, if Vulcan will but ride,
Some cuckold shall be hornified.
A woman that will be drunk        40
Will easily play the punk;
For when her wits are sunk
All keys will fit her trunk:
Then by experience oft is tried,
Poor men that may be hornified.        45
Thus honest men must bear
And ’tis in vain to fear,
For we are ne’re the near
Our hearts with grief to tear:
For, while we mourn, it is their pride        50
The more to keep us hornified.
And be we great or small,
He must be at their call;
How e’er the cards do fall,
We men must suffer all:        55
Do what we can, we must abide
The Pain of being hornified.
If once they bid us go,
We dare not twice say “no,”
Although too well we know        60
’Tis to our grief and woe:
Nay, we are glad their faults to hide,
Though often we are hornified.
If I my wife provoke
With words in anger spoke,        65
She swears she’ll make all smoke,
And I must be her cloak:
Her baseness and my wrongs I hide,
And patiently am hornified.
When these good gossips meet        70
In alley, lane or street,
(Poor man, we do not see it!)
With wine and sugar sweet
They arm themselves, and then, beside,
Their husbands must be hornified.        75
Not your Italian locks
(Which seems a paradox)
Can keep these hens from cocks,
Till they are paid with a pox:
So long as they can go or ride,        80
They’ll have their husbands hornified.
*        *        *        *        *
For if we them do blame
Or tell them of their shame,—
Although the men we name
With whom they did the same,—        85
They’ll swear whoever spoke it lied:
Thus still poor men are hornified.
*        *        *        *        *

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