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.
Love’s Power
Roxburghe Ballads
(Anonymous; from Vol. VII. 1893)

TWO lovers by chance they did meet, possessed with a mutual flame,
And now you shall hear how they greet, for I will declare the same:
Quoth he, “Thou hast sparks in thine eyes, that do kindle in me such a fire,
I comforts shall clearly despise, if you do not grant me my desire.”
“O Sir,” quoth this pretty young maid. “Let me know what ’tis you would have?        5
For you need not at all be afraid, I will grant what in reason you crave:
For I ne’er in my life would deny, what a man did in justice require;
But you and I soon shall comply, and I’ll warrant I’ll quench thy love’s fire.”
With that he began to draw nearer, and gave her an amorous kiss:
He said, he loved dearer and dearer, and longed to taste of the bliss:        10
Quoth he, “’Tis the Babes in thine eyes, that set my poor heart all on fire,
Then do not thy lover despise, but grant me my wish and desire.”
“If thou art so earnest to dally, come make use of time while you may,
Thy skill I will not undervalue, then prithee, Love, let’s to the play:
Methinks thou art somewhat too tedious, ’tis time that we should have been nigher,        15
To linger it seems to be grievous, I’ll warrant I’ll quench thy love’s fire.”
The young man supposing her greedy, fell eagerly unto the sport,
He found she was wanting and needy, and needless it was for to court.
But as they were hugging together, she cried, “O, come nigher and nigher.” His heart was as light as a feather, and he had both his wish and desire.
The Damsel was mightily pleased, and kissed him a thousand times o’er,        20
Quoth she, “Now my sorrows are eased, but I must have a little touch more:
O lie down a while for to rest thee, that I may enjoy my desire,
I hope that the fates they will bless thee; I quench, but thou kindlest my fire.”
No longer he stood there delaying, but stoutly he fell to it again,
Where he gave a prod at their playing, the damsel returned him ten:        25
For she grew more eager and eager, her eyes they did sparkle like fire,
Quoth he, “I do own I’m the weaker, but still I enjoy my desire.”
Quoth she, “Now how should I be served, if thou should’st have got me with child?
But ’tis no more than I deserved, for I was a little too wild;
I thought long till I did begin it, and burnt with a fervent desire:        30
What pleasure I felt in one minute, adds fuel to amorous fire.”
The young man began for to tire, and his cudgels began to lay down,
Which made the young damsel admire, and straight she began for to frown:
Quoth he, “I have done what is fit, no reason can more require;”
But her brows upon him then she knit, and she still did want her desire.        35
Then young men provide and be lusty, when you do come to be tried;
For maidens look sour and crusty, when their wants cannot be well supplied:
But ’twas an old Proverb I heard, though men burst with amorous ire,
That Damsels when once they come near, could quench their most vigorous fire.

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