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 Suit to Phyllis
Mediæval Latin Student’s Songs
 
(From Wine, Women and Song. Translated by John Addington Symonds)

HAIL! thou longed-for month of May,
Dear to lovers every day!
Thou that kindlest hour by hour
Life in man and bloom in bower!
O ye crowds of flowers and hues        5
That with joy the sense confuse,
Hail! and to our bosom bring
Bliss and every jocund thing!
Sweet the concert of the birds;
Lovers listen to their words;        10
For sad winter hath gone by,
And a soft wind blows on high.
 
Earth hath donned her purple vest,
Fields with laughing flowers are dressed,
Shade upon the wild wood spreads,        15
Trees lift up their leafy heads;
Nature in her joy to-day
Bids all living things be gay;
Glad her face and fair her grace
Underneath the sun’s embrace!        20
Venus stirs the lover’s brain,
With life’s nectar fills his vein,
Pouring through his limbs the heat
Which makes pulse and passion beat.
 
O how happy was the birth        25
When the loveliest soul on earth
Took the form and life of thee,
Shaped in all felicity!
O how yellow is thy hair!
There is nothing wrong, I swear,        30
In the whole of thee; thou art
Framed to fill a living heart!
Lo, thy forehead queenly crowned,
And the eyebrows dark and round,
Curved like Iris at the tips,        35
Down the dark heavens when she slips!
 
Red as rose and white as snow
Are thy cheeks that pale and glow;
’Mid a thousand maidens thou
Hast no paragon, I vow.        40
Round thy lips and red as be
Apples on the apple-tree;
Bright thy teeth as any star;
Soft and low thy speeches are;
Long thy hand, and long thy side,        45
And the throat thy breasts divide;
All thy form beyond compare
Was of God’s own art the care.
 
Sparks of passion sent from thee
Set on fire the heart of me;        50
Thee beyond all whom I know
I must love for ever so.
Lo, my heart to dust will burn
Unless thou this flame return;
Still the fire will last, and I,        55
Living now, at length shall die!
Therefore, Phyllis, hear me pray,
Let us twain together play,
Joining lip to lip and breast
Unto breast in perfect rest!        60
 
 
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