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.
 
“Whoso Love Limb to Limb”
Anonymous
 
(Twelfth Century French Song. Translated by Claude C. Abbott)

ON Saturday at eve, the long week done
Gaiete and Oriour, blood-sisters, come
Small hand in hand, to bathe where waters run.
 
        Whispering wind and branches meet,
        Whoso love limb to limb sleep sweet.        5
 
Young Gerairt wending from the tilting ring,
Spied Gaiete stood beside the fountain spring,
Took her between his arms, softly they cling.
 
        Whispering wind and branches meet,
        Whoso love limb to limb sleep sweet.        10
 
“When you have drawn the water, Oriour,
Turn back again, you know the town, for sure:
With Gerairt I remain, none loves me more.”
 
        Whispering wind and branches meet,
        Whoso love limb to limb sleep sweet.        15
 
Now Oriour is pale, and sad her eyes,
From them she goes a-weeping, and she sighs
When sister Gaie with her no longer hies.
 
        Whispering wind and branches meet,
        Whoso love limb to limb sleep sweet.        20
 
Why was I born, weeps Oriour, woe’s me!
I left my sister in the deep valley.
Young Gerairt takes her to his own country.
 
        Whispering wind and branches meet,
        Whoso love limb to limb sleep sweet.        25
 
Gerairt and Gaiete turned themselves away,
Right straight toward his city took their way:
No sooner come than there he married Gaie.
 
        Whispering wind and branches meet,
        Whoso love limb to limb sleep sweet.        30
 
“Sweet lover mine, I cannot make believe.
With all my heart I love you, nor deceive
And you may kiss me over when you please,
Within your arms fain would I find mine ease.
 
God, how the name of love is sweet,        35
Ne’er thought I to have dole of it.”
 
Her lover takes her in his arms’ reach,
In a fine bed they lay them, each to each:
Bele Yoland kisses him as clings a leech,
And they lie bedded as their bodies teach.        40
 
God, how the name of love is sweet:
Ne’er thought I to have dole of it.
 
 
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