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.
A Ballad of Men I Have Vamped—In Vain
(American. c. 1920)

OF virtue in woman and honor in man
Has many a bard sung the praise;
And if I now mention the subject again
It’s distinctively a negative phase,
For while virtue and honor are well in their ways        5
One wearies at length of their clutch,
Especially when it inspires the phrase
“Yes, dear, but I love you too much.”
These modern young men who write books about sex
All say, “To be chaste is a sin!        10
Live life to the full without hindrance or checks!
None too young or too old to begin.”
But for the deplorable plight that I’m in—
(And you’ll surely admit it is such)—
They have no reply but an asinine grin        15
And a “Really, I like you too much.”
There are brave men a plenty, the newspapers say,
Who rape and seduce all the time—
But none of them happen to come ’round my way.
My friends don’t seem given to crime.        20
For bridge or theatres or parties they’re prime
And they don’t seem to shrink at my touch.
But their failing (which goaded me into this rhyme)
Is that all of them like me too much.
It’s not that I go in for Passion myself—        25
I find it a terrible bore—
But a virgin can have no respect for herself
In this day of the glorified whore.
So I call at young hopefuls’ apartments galore,
But, when safe in a masculine clutch,        30
I imply my intentions, they show me the door,
And assure me they like me too much.
Are they cowards, or heroes, these diffident males?
Do they brave every feminine shell?
Or is it my personal presence that fails        35
To intrigue them? I never can tell;
For experts have said I make love very well
Still I must lack the magical touch—
For they praise and admire and love me—but Hell!
They—all of them—like me too much.        40
You, prince, who have hardly ventured to learn
Of the men I have vainly ensnared,
I’ve done as you bid me, and ask in return
Whether you, in their place, would have dared.
And this I implore you, don’t ever get scared,        45
And when virgins entreat your fond touch—
Do whatever you feel that the Fates have prepared—
But don’t tell them you like them too much.

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