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 Bonny Lass: Or, the Buttoned Smock
(From Pills to Purge Melancholy, c. 1720)

SIT you merry Gallants,
  For I can tell you News,
Of a Fashion called the Buttoned Smock,
  The which our Wenches use:
Because that in the City,        5
  In troth it is great pity;
Our Gallants hold it much in scorn,
  They should put down the City:
But is not this a bouncing Wench,
  And is not this a Bonny;        10
In troth she wears a Holland Smock,
  If that she weareth any.
A bonny Lass in a Country Town,
  Unto her Commendation;
She scorns a Holland Smock        15
  Made after the old Fashion:
But she will have it Holland fine,
  As fine as may be wore;
Hemmed and stitched with Naples Silk,
  And buttoned down before:
But is not, etc.
Our Gallants of the City,
  New Fashions do devise;
And wear such new found fangle things,
  Which country Folk despise;
As for the Buttoned Smock,        25
  None can hold it in scorn;
Nor none can think the Fashion ill,
  It is so closely worn:
Although it may be felt,
  It’s seldom to be seen;        30
It passeth all the Fashions yet,
  That heretofore hath been.
But is not, etc.
Our Wenches of the City,
  That gains the Silver rare;
Sometimes they wear a Canvas Smock,        35
  That’s torn or worn Thread-bare:
Perhaps a Smock of Lockrum,
  That dirty, foul, or black:
Or else a Smock of Canvas coarse,
  As hard as any Sack.
But is not, etc.
But she that wears the Holland Smock,
  I commend her still that did it;
To wear her under Parts so fine,
  The more ’tis for her Credit:
For some will have the out-side fine,        45
  To make the braver show;
But she will have her Holland Smock
  That’s Buttoned down below.
But is not, etc.
But if that I should take in hand,
  Her Person to commend;        50
I should vouchsafe a long Discourse,
  The which I could not end:
For her Virtues they are many,
  Her person likewise such;
But only in particular,        55
  Some part of them I’ll touch.
But is not, etc.
Those Fools that still are doing,
  With none but costly Dames;
With tediousness of wooing,
  Makes cold their hottest flames:        60
Give me the Country Lass,
  That trips it o’er the Field;
And ope’s her Forest at the first,
  And is not Coy to yield.
But is not, etc.
Who when she dons her Vesture,        65
  She makes the Spring her Glass;
And with her Comely gesture,
  Doth all the Meadows pass:
Who knows no other cunning,
  But when she feels it come;        70
To gripe your Back, if you be slack,
  And thrust your Weapon home.
But is not, etc.
’Tis not their boasting humour,
  Their painted looks nor state;
Nor smells of the Perfumer,        75
  The Creature doth create:
Shall make me unto these,
  Such slavish service owe;
Give me the Wench that freely takes,
  And freely doth bestow.
But is not, etc.
Who far from all beguiling,
  Doth not her Beauty Mask;
But all the while lie smiling,
  While you are at your task:
Who in the midst of Pleasure,        85
  Will beyond active strain;
And for your Pranks, will con you thanks,
  And curtsey for your pain.
But is not, etc.

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