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.
 
“Down in a Garden Sat My Dearest Love”
Anonymous
 
(From John Cotgrave’s Wit’s Interpreter, 1655)

DOWN in a garden sat my dearest love,
Her skin more soft than down of swan,
More tender-hearted than the turtle dove
And far more kind than bleeding pelican.
I courted her; she rose and blushing said.        5
“Why was I born to live and die a maid?”
With that I plucked a pretty marigold,
Whose dewy leaves shut up when day is done:
“Sweeting,” I said, “arise, look and behold,
  A pretty riddle I’ll to thee unfold:        10
These leaves shut in as close as cloistered nun,
Yet will they open when they see the sun.”
“What mean you by this riddle, sir?” she said;
“I pray expound it.” Then I thus begun:
“Are not men made for maids and maids for men?”        15
With that she changed her colour and grew wan.
“Since that this riddle you so well unfold,
Be you the sun, I’ll be the marigold.”
 
 
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