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 Swimming Lady: Or, a Wanton Discovery
(From Collection of Old Ballads, 1723)

   Being a true Relation of a Coy Lady betray’d by her Lover as she was Stripping herself stark Naked, and Swimming in a River near Oxford.

THE FOUR and twentieth Day of May,
  Of all Times in the Year,
A Virgin-Lady bright and gay,
  Did privately appear
Close by a River-side, which she        5
  Did single out the rather,
’Cause she was sure, she was secure,
  And had an Intent to bath her.
With glittering Glance, her jealous Eyes,
  Did slyly look about,        10
To see if any lurking Spies,
  Were hid to find her out;
And being well resolv’d that none
  Could view her Nakedness;
She puts her Robes off, one by one        15
  And doth her self undress.
A purple Mantle (fringed with Gold)
  Her Ivory Hands unpin,
It would have made a Coward bold,
  Or tempted a Saint to sin;        20
She turns about to look again,
  I hope, says she, I am safe,
And then a Rosy Petticoat,
  She presently put off.
The Snow-white Smock which she had on        25
  Transparently so decked her,
It looked like Cambrick-Lawn, upon
  An Alabaster Picture,
Thro’ which your Eye might faintly spy
  Her Belly and her Back;        30
Her Limbs were strait, and all was white
  But that which should be black.
The Part which she’s ashamed to see
  Without a bashful Blush,
Appeared like curious Tiffany        35
  Displayed upon a Bush:
But that Posterior extreme Limb
  She cannot look upon,
Did like a twisted Cherry seem
  Before the white was gone.        40
As when a Masquing Scene is drawn,
  And new Lights do appear,
When she put off her Smock of Lawn,
  Just such a Sight was there:
The bright Reflection of her Eyes,        45
  In every Limb was strowed,
As when the radiant Sun doth rise,
  And gild each neighbouring Cloud.
Into a fluent Stream she leapt,
  Which looked like liquid Glass;        50
The Fishes from all Quarters crept,
  To see what Angel ’twas;
She did so like a Vision look,
  Or Fancy in a Dream,
’Twas thought the Sun the Sky forsook,        55
  And dropt into the Stream,
Each Fish did wish himself a Man,
  About her all were drawn,
And at the Sight of her began
  To spread abroad their Spawn:        60
She turned to swim upon her Back,
  And so display’d her Banner,
If Jove had then in Heaven been
  He would have dropt upon her.
Thus was the River’s Diamond Head,        65
  With Pearl and Sapphire crowned:
Her Legs did shove, her Arms did move,
  Her Body did rebound;
She that did quaff the Juice of Joy,
  (Fair Venus Queen of Love)        70
With Mars did never in more ways,
  Of melting Motion move.
A Lad that long her Love had been,
  And could obtain no Grace,
For all her prying, lay unseen;        75
  Hid in a secret Place;
Who having been repulsed when he
  Did often come to woo her,
Pull’d off his Clothes, and furiously
  Did run and leap in to her.        80
She shrieks, she strives, and down she dives,
  He brings her up again,
He got her o’er, upon the Shore,
  And then, and then, and then!
As Adam did old Eve enjoy,        85
  You may guess what I mean;
Because she all uncovered lay,
  He covered her again.
With wat’ry Eyes, she pants, and cries
  I’m utterly undone,        90
If you’ll not be wedded unto me,
  E’er the next Morning Sun;
He answered her, I’ll never stir
  Out of thy Sight ’till then;
We’ll both clap Hands, in Wedlock Bands,        95
  Marry, and to’t agen.

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