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 Character of a Mistress
(From Merry Drollery, 1691)

MY Mistris is a shittle-cock,
  Composed of Cork and feather,
Each Battledore sets on her dock,
  And bumps her on the leather:
But cast her off which way you Will,        5
She will recoil to another still, Fa, la, la, la, la, la.
My Mistris is a Tennis-ball,
  Composed of Cotton fine;
She is often struck against the wall,
  And banded under-line,        10
But if you will her mind fulfill,
You must pop her in the hazard still, Fa, la, la.
My Mistris is a Nightingale
  So sweetly she can sing,
She is as fair as Philomel,        15
  The daughter of a King;
And in the darksome nights so thick
She loves to lean against a prick, Fa, la, la.
My Mistris is a Ship of war,
  With shot discharged at her        20
The Pope hath inferred many a scar
  Even both by wind and water;
But as she grapples, at the last,
She drowns the man, pulls down his mast, Fa, la, la.
My Mistris is a Virginal,        25
  And little cost will string her:
She’s often reared against the wall
  For every man to finger,
But to say truth, if you will her please
You must run division on her keys, Fa, la, la.        30
My Mistris is a Conny fine,
  She’s of the softest skin,
And if you please to open her,
  The best part lies within,
And in her Conny-burrow may        35
Two Tumblers and a Ferrit play, Fa, la, la.
My Mistris is the Moon so bright:
  I wish that I could win her;
She never walks but in the night,
  And bears a man within her,        40
Which on his back bears pricks and thorns;
And once a month she brings him horns, Fa, la, la.
My Mistris is a Tinder-box,
  Would I had such a one;
Her Steel endureth many a knock        45
  Both by the flint and stone.
And if you stir the Tinder much,
The match will fire at every touch, Fa, la, la.
My Mistris is a Puritan,
  She will not swear an oath,        50
But for to lie with any man,
  She is not very loath;
But pure to pure, and there’s no sin,
There’s nothing lost that enters in, Fa, la, la.
But why should I my Mistris call,        55
  A shittle-cock or bawble,
A ship of war or Tennis-ball,
  Which things be variable?
But to commend, I’ll say no more,
My Mistris is an arrant whore, Fa, la, la, la, la, la.        60

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