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.
 
“Whilst Alexis Lay Prest”
By John Dryden (1631–1700)
 
(From Marriage-à-la-mode, 1673)

WHILST Alexis lay prest
In her Arms he lov’d best,
With his hands round her neck,
And his head on her breast,
He found the fierce pleasure too hasty to stay,        5
And his soul in the tempest just flying away.
 
When Celia saw this,
With a sigh, and a kiss,
She cry’d, Oh my dear, I am robb’d of my bliss;
’Tis unkind to your Love, and unfaithfully done,        10
To leave me behind you, and die all alone.
 
The Youth, though in haste,
And breathing his last,
In pity died slowly, while she died more fast;
Till at length she cry’d, Now, my dear, let us go,        15
Now die, my Alexis, and I will die too.
 
Thus intranc’d they did lie,
Till Alexis did try
To recover new breath, that again he might die:
Then often they died; but the more they did so,        20
The Nymph died more quick, and the Shepherd more slow.
 
 
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