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.
No Wit Like to a Woman’s
(From the Exeter Garland, 1720)

  YOU Gallants all in London, pray draw near a while,
Here’s a pleasant Ditty will make you all to smile,
’Tis of a Merchant’s Widow that did in London dwell,
And she had Store of Riches, as many People tell.
  She had a pretty Daughter, indeed she had no more,        5
And she was Heir, as we do find to all her worldly Store.
A Sailor came to court this Maid, but he was very poor,
Yet ne’ertheless this Maiden fair did him much adore.
  This youthful Couple agreed to wed in a little Time,
If that the good old Woman they could get in Mind:        10
But of her Gold and Silver she such a God did make,
She kept her Daughter single all for her Fortune’s Sake.
  The Maiden said, “Pray, Mother, let me wed my Dear,
For we have loved each other above these seven Years.”
The Mother then she said, “Have him with all my Heart,        15
But with one Farthing of your Portion yet I will not part.”
  The Daughter said, “ ”Your Reason for this let me know,
Six thousand Pounds my Father has left me, that is true,
As long as I have Wealth enough, I’ll have the Man I love,
And therefore I do hope you will of the Match approve.”        20
  Then straightway in Passion the old Woman swore,
“You’re too young to marry yet, and therefore pray forbear,
For you must let me marry first, for tho’ I’m old and gray,
I have a Tooth within my Head that’s coltish I do say;
  “This Money ’twill bring me a Husband brisk and young,        25
’Tis Time enough for you to begin, I think, when I’ve done;
My Child, you ne’er knew the Bliss, and so you cannot pine,
As I for want of my Goodman have done a tedious Time.
  “Dear Mother, you make me blush to hear you talk so wild,
But since you do a Husband want, I swear as I’m your Child        30
I’ll stay till you’re married first, and when it is my Turn,
I hope to have the Man I love, so let the Game go on,
  “Pray fit me for the Country, for there I mean to go,
And there the jolly Sailor will not be in my View.”
The old Woman rejoiced at this, fit her out straightway        35
Thinking she to Worcestershire would go without Delay.
  This young crafty Damsel has a Frolic in her Head,
She sent then for her Lover, and unto him she said,
“My Mother says my Portion must her a Husband buy,
For she without a Bedfellow no longer cannot lie;        40
  “And therefore I’m resolved this Frolic for to play,
I will cut my lovely Hair, and dress in Man’s Array,
A Suitor to my Mother I’ll go in this Disguise,
And bite the good old Woman of all the golden Prize.”
  Her Lover he did heartily laugh to hear the same,        45
Saying, “If you do proceed, my Dear, ’twill be a pretty Game;
But prithee do you not think but that she’ll know your Face.
Ne’er fear,” said the Damsel, “for thus must stand the Case.
  “I’ll stifle her with Kisses, and put her in Surprize,
I’ll vow and swear I nothing see but Beauty in her Eyes;        50
And if at any time she gazes in my Face,
I’ll on her Bosom lay my head, her Bubbies to embrace;
  “I’ve a Friend that soon shall go, my Person to commend,
And tell I’m in Love with her, and soon she’ll for me send:
So fare you well, my dearest Dear, this Frolic I’ll pursue,        55
And every Day I’ll let you know how all Matters go.”
  The old Woman thinking her Daughter out of Town
She was resolv’d not very long for to lie alone;
And she among her Friends a visiting did go,
In hopes a Husband for to get as she walked to and fro.        60
  Her Daughter, drest like a Beau, one day she did meet,
Who kindly embraced her, & swore the Kiss was sweet,
“Dear Madam, I’m so deep in Love, before that we do part,
I beg you’ll tell me where you live, or you’ll break my Heart.”
  She said, “Go along with me, and if your Love be true,        65
You are a charming pretty Youth, and I can fancy you,
I’ve Store of Gold and Silver to make you rich and great,
A Chariot wherein you may ride, Footmen on you to wait.”
  She not thinking who this young airy Spark might be
She took her new Acquaintance home immediately;        70
This Spark fell strong to courting, & solemnly did swear
“Ten thousand charming Beauties in her Eyes there were.”
  Then gave her melting Kisses, & pulled her on’s Knee,
And with her ancient Bubbies played a pleasant Comedy.
The old Women did simper, & was pleased to the Heart,        75
Saying, My Dear, a Diamond Ring, I’ll give before we part.
  Then up Stairs she took him to see her golden Store,
Saying, “The Day I marry you, I’ll give you this and more;
But can you love me heartily, tell me my pretty Dear,
Because you see that I am old, and stricken well in Years.        80
  “And you are but a Stripling, just in your youthful Prime,
I fear you will a Whoring run, and leave me for to pine.
Dear Madam, I did never love a Whore in all my Life,
I’ll be as constant as the Dove when you are made my Wife.
  “My Dear,” said the old Woman, “on St. Andrew’s Day        85
We will be joined together in private I do say:
I’ll make you Master of my Store before to Bed we go,
That you better may reward my Love for doing so.”
  With many amorous Kisses they parted that Night,
She goes unto the Sailor her joy and Heart’s Delight;        90
She gave him the Diamond Ring and told her Success,
And tho’ she had Breeches on, they lovingly embraced.
  A courting to her Mother each Day she constant went
At length St. Andrew’s Day came, to her great Content
To Church then to be married this couple they did hie,        95
The Marriage being over, the Fun comes by and by.
  As soon as e’er the Bridegroom came within the Door
She took him in and made him the Master of her Store,
Her Gold, Bonds, & Leases, she did to her Spouse resign,
Saying, “Take Possession of my Store for thou’rt fairly mine.”        100
  This done, the Female Bridegroom began to be in Care
Which Way the golden Prize to convey unto her Dear,
Then turning to her Mother, said, “My Heart’s Delight,
We’ll go abroad to dine to Day, and home to Bed at Night.”
  The Bride she had a Sister lived in Hanover-Square,        105
She agreed to go thither, and Spouse to meet her there,
Her Chariot was made ready, as soon as she was gone,
The Maid for the Sailor sent, & told him what was done.
  Ten thousand Pound to the jolly Sailor she did give,
Saying, “To-morrow I’ll be with you, if that I do live,        110
But I must give my Bride my Company to Night
I fear the Bargain she’ll repent before the Morning Light.”
  The Sailor went off, the Bridegroom went to the Bride
Soon as she entered the Room, the Aunt in surprise said,
“I’m sure, if this your Husband be, I verily do swear        115
It is your only Daughter that does the Breeches wear.
  “The Devil take her if it be,” (The Mother then did say)
“Now steadfastly I look at her, I really think ’tis she;
But to be further satisfied, I solemnly do swear,
I will have the Breeches down to know what Sort of Ware.”        120
  Then rising in a Passion, did about the Breeches fall
The Daughter laughed heartily, she had no strength at all,
She said, “How can you be so rude such Things to discover?
I’m sure I am as good a Man as ever was my Mother.”
  She got the Breeches down, & found that it was true,        125
She said, “Since you’ve me deceived I’ll surely make you rue.
It is not in your Power,” (the Daughter she did say)
“You fairly did surrender your Treasure unto me;
  “So I’m resolved to-morrow to wed the Sailor bright,
I think it is high time I should, know the sweet Delight        130
That sets you thus a longing, and when that I have done,
You may get a Husband, when it comes to your Turn.”
  The old Woman tore the Teeth out of her Head,
Next Day the youthful Lady she did the Sailor wed.
The Mother still a hundred a Year does possess,        135
And when it comes in her Turn she’s to be caressed.

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