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.
Blame Not a Woman
(From The Percy Folio Manuscript, page 446 of MS.)

BLAME not a woman although she be lewd,
  And that her faults they have been known.
Although she do offend, yet in time she may amend;
  Then blame her not for using of her own,
But rather give them praise, as they deserve,        5
  When vice is banished quite, and virtue in them grown,
For that’s their only treasure, and for to fly vain pleasure.
  Then blame them not for using of their own.
There is many now a days that women will dispraise:
  Out of a dru[n]ken humor when as their wits are flown,        10
Out of an idle brain, with speeches lewd and vain
  They’ll blame them still for using of her own.
But if woman should not trade, how should the world increase?
  If women all were nice, what seed should then be sown?
If women all were coy, they would breed men’s annoy;        15
  Then blame them not for using of their own.
If any take offence at this my song,
  I think that no good manners he hath known.
We all from women came: why should we women blame,
  And for a little using of their own?        20

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