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 Account
By Abraham Cowley (1618–1667)
 
(A Paraphrase of Anacreon, 1668)

WHEN all the Stars are by thee told,
(The endless Sums of heav’nly Gold)
Or when the Hairs are reckon’d all,
From sickly Autumn’s Head that fall,
Of when the drops that make the Sea,        5
Whilst all her Sands thy Counters be;
Thou then, and Thou alone must prove
Th’ Arithmetician of my Love.
An hundred Loves at Athens score,
At Corinth write an hundred more;        10
Fair Corinth does such Beauties bear,
So few is an Escaping there.
Write then at Chios seventy-three,
Write then at Lesbos (let me see);
Write me at Lesbos ninety down,        15
Full ninety Loves, and half a One;
And next to these let me present,
The fair Ionian Regiment;
And next the Carian Company,
Five hundred both Effectively;        20
Three hundred more at Rhodes and Crete;
Three hundred ’tis, I am sure, Complete;
For arms at Crete each Face does bear,
And ev’ry Eye’s an Archer there.
Go on; this stop why dost thou make?        25
Thou think’st, perhaps, that I mistake.
Seems this to thee too great a Sum?
Why, many thousands are to come;
The mighty Xerxes could not boast
Such diff’rent Nations in his Host.        30
On; for my Love, if thou be’st weary,
Must find some better Secretary.
I have not yet my Persian told,
Nor yet my Syrian Loves enroll’d,
Nor Indian, nor Arabian;        35
Nor Cyprian Loves, nor African;
Nor Scythian, nor Italian flames;
There’s a whole Map behind of Names,
Of gentle Love i’ th’ temp’rate Zone,
And cold ones in the Frigid One,        40
Cold frozen Loves with which I pine,
And parched Loves beneath the Line.
 
 
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