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 Satire against Love
By Alexander Ratcliff
 
(London. 1705)

THOU doting fond besotted amorous fool;
Shame to thy sex, return again to school,
A whining lover is a sorry tool.
Learn a new lesson, vex thyself no more,
Kick that blind bastard Cupid out of door,        5
His mother Venus was a common whore.
 
What is’t that makes thy sense and reason stray?
And fondly bears thy captive soul away?
Is it her beauty makes thy heart her prey?
The fairest face that ever nature made,        10
A little sickness soon will make it fade,
’Tis naught but worms and dust in masquerade.
 
Or do you on your mistress’ virtue dote?
Tell me, I should be very glad to know it,
What virtue dwells beneath a petticoat?        15
Women are strange dissemblers: They’ll appear
So sweetly innocent and good, you’d swear
They were all angels, when they devils are.
 
Doth she a magazine of wealth command,
Fetched from the bowels of the sea and land,        20
The Oriental pearl, and Indian sand?
Those glittering toys indeed may please the eyes
Of some base miser; but the brave and wise
Place their content beyond such fooleries.
 
Fill me a bowl with some rich Grecian wine,        25
That sprightly nectar shall my wit refine,
And make me bravely act the libertine.
In Bacchanalian feasts I’ll sorrows drown;
And when my blood grows warm I’ll range the town,
And seize on all I meet, fair, black, or brown.        30
 
Women by nature were or at first designed,
To be enjoyed by man, and thou shalt find,
If this proves cross, the next will be more kind.
Their inclination’s strong what e’er they say,
And hate who court the dull Platonic way;        35
That monsieur pleases best, who’s brisk and gay.
 
No longer then in whining language court—
But if your mistress does deny you sport,
Ravish her first, and then she’ll thank you for ’t.
Perhaps she’ll faintly strive and cry, ‘you men        40
Are wondrous rude—I vow you shant,’—and then
Swear that you never shall come there again.
 
The deed once done; she’ll feign herself perplext:
‘Fie! you’re wondrous naught—Indeed I’m vext,
But prithee dear, when shall I see thee next?’        45
With cunning arts, thus they inveagle man:
But they shall never more my soul trappan,
Catch me again you gypsies if you can.
To spend our precious time ’twixt hope and fear,
And let a paltry woman domineer,        50
’Tis better be a vassal in Algier.
 
 
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