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.
 
A Song from “Miscellany Poems”
By John Dryden (1631–1700)
 
(1685)

SYLVIA the fair, in the bloom of Fifteen
Felt an innocent warmth, as she lay on the green;
She had heard of a pleasure, and something she guessed
By the towzing and tumbling and touching her Breast:
She saw the men eager, but was at a loss,        5
What they meant by their sighing and kissing so close;
    By their praying and whining,
    And clasping and twining,
    And panting and wishing,
    And sighing and kissing,        10
    And sighing and kissing so close.
 
Ah! she cry’d, ah! for a languishing maid
In a country of Christians to die without aid!
Not a Whig, or a Tory, or Trimmer at least,
Or a Protestant parson or Catholic priest,        15
To instruct a young virgin that is at a loss
What they meant by their sighing and kissing so close;
    By their praying and whining,
    And clasping and twining,
    And panting and wishing,        20
    And sighing and kissing,
    And sighing and kissing so close.
 
Cupid in shape of a swain did appear,
He saw the sad wound, and in pity drew near,
Then show’d her his Arrow, and bid her not fear,        25
For the pain was no more than a maiden may bear;
When the balm was infus’d, she was not at a loss
What they meant by their sighing and kissing so close;
    By their praying and whining,
    And clasping and twining,        30
    And panting and wishing,
    And sighing and kissing,
    And sighing and kissing so close.
 
 
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