Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
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T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
 
The Coy Shepherdess
Anonymous
 
(Roxburgh Ballads, ii. 85; 1641–74)

 Fair Phillis in a wanton posture lies,
Not thinking to be seen by mortal eyes
Till accidentally Amintas came,
And seen her lie, which made her blush for shame;
He cast himself down by her on the Hay,
And won her love before he went away.


PHILLIS on the new made hay,
On a pleasant Summer’s day,
She in a wanton posture lay,
  Thinking no Shepherd nigh her,
Till Amintas came that way,        5
  And threw himself down by her.
 
At the first she was amaz’d,
And with blushes on him gaz’d;
Her beauty bright did him invite,
  Her shape he did admire;        10
Her wanton dress could do no less
  Then set his heart on fire.
 
Then Amintas mildly said,
“Phillis, be not now afraid,
But entertain, thy shepherd swain,        15
  Now we are met together;
Then I shall prize thy sparkling eyes
  That did invite me hither.
 
“I have rang’d the Plains about
For to find my Phillis out;        20
My flocks I left, of joys bereft,
  Whilst I for thee did languish;
’Tis in thy will my heart to fill
  With joy, or else with anguish.”
 
Then fair Phillis, frowning said,        25
“My privacy thou hast betrayed,
Therefore be gone, let me alone,
  Do not disturb my pleasure;
Nor do not move thy suit of love,
  But leave me to my leisure.        30
 
“Never yet did shepherd swain,
On this smooth Sicilian plain,
Once dare to move my deep disdain
  By such like bold intrusion;
Then cease thy suit, ’tis but in vain,        35
  I scorn such fond delusion.”
 
When Amintas sees her frown,
Hoping still his joys to crown,
Quoth he, “My dear, as I am here,
  I like not this behaviour;        40
’Tis lover’s bliss to toy and kiss,
  It wins a maiden’s favor.
 
“Let us, like the ivy twine,
And our loves in one combine;
Grim Pluto loved Proserpine,        45
  Her beauty did him fetter;
When thou art mine, and I am thine,
  I’ll please thee ten times better.”
 
“Fie! for shame, fond boy,” she said,
“I’m resolv’d to live a maid;        50
Thou art too young, to do me wrong,
  Be not so bold to venture.”
Whilst he poor youth, to speak the truth,
  Still aimed at the center.
 
Phillis blushed as red as blood,        55
When his mind she understood;
His bold intent for to prevent,
  She used her best endeavour;
His resolution it was bent,
  For he was loath to leave her.        60
 
Hotly he pursued the game,
Whilst his heart was on a flame;
She cry’d, “Pish, nay, fie, for shame!
  In faith you shall not do it!”
But the youth her overcame,        65
  And eagerly fell to it.
 
Thus she strived all in vain,
Whilst she felt a pleasing pain;
Yet he by no means would refrain,
  But kindly did embrace her;        70
He kissed his love and told her plain
  He never would disgrace her.
 
In great rage she flung away,
Tumbling o’er the new-made hay;
Whilst he asham’d and breathless lay,        75
  Although he then displeas’d her;
He rallied and renew’d the fray,
  And manfully appeas’d her.
 
Thus they spent this crystal day
In such wanton sports and play;        80
Amintas there, embrac’d his dear,
  And bid her be light-hearted;
But night being come, they hasted home,
  And kindly kiss’d and parted.
 
 
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