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.
 
“Was Ever Man of Nature’s Framing”
By Charles Cotton (1630–1687)
 
WAS ever man of Nature’s framing
  So given o’er to roving,
Who have been twenty years a-taming
By ways that are not worth the naming,
  And now must die of loving?        5
 
Hell take me if she ben’t so winning
  That now I love her mainly!
And though in jest at the beginning,
Yet now I’d wondrous fain be sinning,
  And so have told her plainly.        10
 
At which she cries I do not love her,
  And tells me of her honour;
Then have I no way to disprove her,
And my true passion to discover,
  But straight to fall upon her.        15
 
Which done, forsooth, she talks of wedding,
  But what will that avail her?
For though I am old dog at bedding,
I’m yet a man of so much reading
  That there I sure shall fail her.        20
 
No, hang me if I ever marry
  Till womankind grow stauncher!
I do delight delights to vary,
And love not in one hulk to tarry,
  But only trim and launch her.        25
 
 
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