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.
Of King Edward and Jane Shore
(From Pills to Purge Melancholy, c. 1707)

WHY should we boast of Lais and her Knights,
Knowing such Champions intrapt with Whorish Lights;
Or why should we speak of Thais’ Curled Locks,
Or Rhodope that gave so many Men the Pox.
Read old Stories, and there you shall find,        5
How Jane Shore, Jane Shore she pleased King Edward’s mind.
Jane Shore she was for fair England, Queen Fredrick was for France,
          Honi soit qui mal y pense.
To speak of the Amazons it were too long to tell,
And likewise of the Thracian Girls, how far they did excel;        10
Those with Scythian Lads, engag’d in several Fights,
And in the brave Venetian Wars, did foil advent’rous Knights:
Messaline and Julia were Vessels wond’rous brittle,
But Jane Shore, Jane Shore took down K. Edward’s Mettle.
          Jane Shore she was, etc.
Thalestis of Thormydon, she was a doughty Wight;        15
She Conquered Pallas King in the Exercise of Night;
Hercules slew the Dragon whose Teeth were all of Brass,
Yet he himself became a Slave unto the Lydian Lass:
The Theban Semel lay with Jove, not dreading all his Thunder,
But Jane Shore overcame King Edward, altho’ he had her under.
          Jane Shore she was, etc.
Helen of Greece she came of Spartan Blood,
Agricola and Cressida they were brave Whores and good;
Queen Clytemnestra bold, slew old Arthur’s mighty Son,
And fair Harcyon pulled down the Strength of Telamon:
Those were the Ladies that caused the Trojan Sack,        25
But Jane Shore, Jane Shore she spoiled K. Edward’s Back.
          Jane Shore she was, etc.
For this the Ancient Fathers did great Venus defy,
Because with her own Father Jove she feared not to lie;
Hence Cupid came, who afterwards revenged his loving Mother,
And made kind Biblis do the like with Cornus her own Brother;        30
And afterwards the Goddess kept Adonis for Reserve,
But Jane Shore, Jane Shore she stretched King Edward’s Nerve.
          Jane Shore she was, etc.
The Colchin Dame Mædea her Father did betray,
And taught her Lover Jason how the Vigilant Bull to slay;
And after, thence conveyed her Father’s golden Fleece,        35
She with her Lover sailed away in Argus Ship to Greece:
But finding Jason False, she burnt his Wife and Court,
But Jane Shore, Jane Shore she showed King Edward sport.
          Jane Shore she was, etc.
Romix of Saxony the Welsh State overthrew,
Igræyn of Cornwall, Pendragon did subdue;        40
Queen Guinevere with Arthur fought singly hand to hand,
In Bed, tho’ afterwards she made Horns on his Head to stand:
And to Sir Mordred, Pictish Prince a Paramour became,
But Jane Shore, Jane Shore she made King Edward tame.
          Jane Shore she was, etc.
Marosia of Italy, see how she stoutly copes,        45
With Jesuits, Priests and Cardinals, and triple Crowned Popes;
And with King Henry, Rosamond spent many a dallying Hour,
Till lastly she was Poisoned in Woodstock fatal Bower:
And Joan of Arc play’d in the Dark with the Knights of Languedoc,
But Jane Shore, met King Edward, and gave him Knock for Knock.
          Jane Shore she was, etc.
Pasiphæ we know played feats with the Cretan Bull,
And Proserpine, tho’ so Divine, became black Pluto’s Trull:
The Spanish Bawd her Strumpets taught to lay their Legs astride,
But these and all the Curtezans Jane Shore did them deride:
Pope Joan was right, altho’ she did the Papal Sceptre Wield,        55
But Jane Shore, Jane Shore she made King Edward yield.
          Jane Shore she was, etc.
Agathoclea and Ænathe did govern Egypt’s King;
The witty Wench of Andover, she was a pretty thing,
She freely took her Lady’s place, and with great Edgar Dallied,
And with main force she foiled him quite, altho’ he often rallied:        60
For which brave Act, he that her racked, gave her his Lady’s Land,
But Jane Shore, Jane Shore King Edward did command.
          Jane Shore she was, etc.
Of Phryne and Lanva Historians have related,
How their Illustrious Beauties, two Generals Captivated:
And they that in the Days of Yore killed Men and Sacked their Cities,        65
In Honour of their Mistresses composed Amorous Ditties:
Let Flora gay with Romans play, and be a Goddess called,
But Jane Shore, Jane Shore, King Edward she enthralled.
          Jane Shore she was, etc.
The Jolly Tanner’s Daughter Harlot of Normandy,
She only had the happiness to please Duke Robert’s Eye;        70
And Roxolana tho’ a Slave, and born a Grecian,
Could with a Nod, command and rule Grand Seignior Solyman:
And Naples Joan would make them Groan that ardently did love her,
But Jane Shore, Jane Shore King Edward he did Shove her.
          Jane Shore she was, etc.
Aspasia doth of the Persian Brothers boast,        75
Though Cynthia joy in the Lampathean Boy, Jane Shore shall rule the roast;
Cleopatra loved Mark Antony, and Brownal she did feats,
But compared to our Virago, they were but merely cheats,
Brave Carpet Knights in Cupid’s Fights, their milkwhite Rapiers drew,
But Jane Shore, Jane Shore King Edward did subdue,
          Jane Shore she was, etc.
Hamlet’s incestuous Mother was Gertrude, Denmark’s Queen,
And Circe that enchanting Witch, the like was scarcely seen;
Warlike Penthesile was an Amazonian Whore,
To Hector and young Troylus, both which did her adore,
But brave King Edward, who before had gain’d Nine Victories,        85
Was like a Bond-slave, fetter’d with Jane Shore’s all conquering Thighs:
          Jane Shore she was, etc.

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