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 Way to Woo a Zealous Lady
(From Merry Drollery, 1691)

I CAME unto a Puritan to woo,
And roughly did salute her with a kiss;
She shoved me from her when I came unto;
Brother, by yea and nay I like not this:
And as I her with amorous talk saluted,        5
My Articles with scripture she confuted.
She told me that I was too much profane,
And not devout neither in speech nor gesture:
And I could not one word answer again,
Nor had not so much grace to call her Sister;        10
For ever something did offend her there,
Either my broad beard, hat, or my long hair.
My Band was broad, my ’Parrel was not plain,
My Points and Girdle made the greatest show;
My Sword was odious, and my Belt was vain,        15
My Spanish shoes was cut too broad at toe;
My Stockings light, my Garters tied too long,
My Gloves perfumed, and had a scent too strong.
I left my pure Mistris for a space,
And to a snip snap Barber straight went I;        20
I cut my hair, and did my corps uncase
Of ’Parrels pride that did offend the eye;
My high crowned Hat, my little beard also,
My pecked Band, my Shoes were sharp at toe.
Gone was my Sword, my Belt was laid aside,        25
And I transform’d both in looks and speech;
My ’Parrel plain, my Cloak was void of pride,
My little Skirts, my metamorphosed breech,
My Stockings black, my Garters were tied shorter,
My Gloves no scent; thus march’d I to her Porter.        30
The Porter spied me, and did lead me in,
Where his sweet Mistris reading was a chapter:
Peace to this house, and all that are therein,
Which holy words with admiration wrapt her;
And ever, as I came her something nigh,        35
She, being divine, turned up the white of th’ eye.
Quoth I, dear sister, and that liked her well;
I kist her, and did Pass to some delight,
She, blushing, said, that long-tail’d men would tell;
Quoth I, I’ll be as silent as the night;        40
And lest the wicked now should have a sight
Of what we do, faith, I’ll put out the light.
O do not swear, quoth she, but put it out,
Because that I would have you save your oath,
In truth, you shall but kiss me without doubt;        45
In troth, quoth I, here we will rest us both;
Swear you, quoth she, in troth? Had you not sworn
I’d not have done’t, but took it in foul scorn.

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