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.
 
From the Odes of Anacreon, LIX.
By Thomas Moore (1779–1852)
 
SABLED by the solar beam,
Now the fiery clusters teem,
In osier baskets, borne along
By all the festal vintage throng
Of rosy youths and virgins fair,        5
Ripe as the melting fruits they bear.
Now, now they press the pregnant grapes,
And now the captive stream escapes,
In fervid tide of nectar gushing,
And for its bondage proudly blushing!        10
While round the vat’s impurpled brim,
The choral song, the vintage hymn
Of rosy youths and virgins fair,
Steals on the cloy’d and panting air.
Mark, how they drink, with all their eyes,        15
The orient tide sparkling flies;
The infant balm of all their fears,
The infant Bacchus, born in tears!
When he, whose verging years decline,
As deep into the vale as mine,        20
When he inhales the vintage-spring,
His heart is fire, his foot’s a wing;
And as he flies, his hoary hair
Plays truant with the wanton air!
While the warm youth, whose wishing soul        25
Has kindled o’er the inspiring bowl,
Impassioned seeks the shadowy grove,
Where, in the tempting guise of love,
Reclining sleeps some witching maid,
Whose sunny charms but half displayed,        30
Blushed through the bower, that, closely twined,
Excludes the kisses of the wind!
The virgin wakes, the glowing boy
Allures her to the embrace of joy;
Swears that the herbage Heaven had spread        35
Was sacred as the nuptial bed;
That laws should never bind desire,
And love was nature’s holiest fire!
The virgin weeps, the virgin sighs;
He kissed her lips, he kissed her eyes;        40
The sigh was balm, the tear was dew,
They only raised his flame anew.
And oh! he stole the sweetest flower
That ever bloomed in any bower!
Such is the madness wine imparts,        45
Whene’er it steals on youthful hearts.
 
 
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