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 Courtier and Country Maid
By Thomas D’Urfey (1653–1723)
 
(From Songs Complete, 1719)

ALL you that either hear or read,
  This Ditty is for your Delight:
’Tis of a pretty Country Maid,
  And how she served a courtly Knight.
 
      ’Twas in the flow’ry Spring,        5
  The Linnet, Nightingale and Thrush,
  Sat on the fresh green hawthorn Bush,
  And Jug, jug, jug, and twee, twee, twee,
      Most sweetly they did sing.
 
This courtly Knight, when Fields were green,        10
  And Sol did genial Warmth inspire,
A Farmer’s Daughter late had seen,
  Whose Face had set his Heart on Fire,
      ’Twas in the flow’ry Spring, etc.
 
Off to her Father’s House he came,        15
  And kindly was received there still,
The more he added to his Shame,
  Since only ’twas to gain his Will.
      ’Twas in the flow’ry Spring, etc.
 
One Evening then amongst the rest        20
  He came to visit the good Man,
But needs must know where Clara was,
  And heard she was a milking gone.
      ’Twas in the flow’ry Spring, etc.
 
Then called he for his pampered Steed,        25
  With Pistols at his Saddle Bow,
And to the Meadow rode with Speed,
  Where she was milking of her Cow.
      ’Twas in the flow’ry Spring, etc.
 
Her pretty Hands that stroked the Teats,        30
  From whence the Milk down streaming came,
Informed his Thoughts of other Sweets,
  That more increased his raging Flame.
      ’Twas in the flow’ry Spring, etc.
 
Then off he lights, and ties his Horse,        35
  And swore she must his Pain remove,
If not by fair Means, yet by Force,
  Since he was dying for her Love.
      ’Twas in the flow’ry Spring, etc.
 
The pearly Tears now trickling fall,        40
  That from her bashful Eyes do flow,
But that he heeded not at all,
  But does her straight his Pistols show.
      ’Twas in the flow’ry Spring, etc.
 
But first pulled out a fine gay Purse,        45
  Well lined within, as she might see,
And cried, before it happens worse,
  Be wise, and take a Golden Fee.
      ’Twas in the flow’ry Spring, etc.
 
Oh keep your Gold, replied the Maid,        50
  I will not take your golden Fee,
For well you hope to be repaid,
  And greater Treasure take from me.
      ’Twas in the flow’ry Spring, etc.
 
A thundering Oath then out he sent,        55
  That she should presently be dead;
For were his Heart not eased, he meant
  Point blank to shoot her thro’ the Head.
      ’Twas in the flow’ry Spring, etc.
 
Then making haste to seize her, went        60
  And laid the Fire-Arms at her Feet,
Whilst Clara seeing his Intent,
  Has no recourse to Aid, but Wit.
      ’Twas in the flow’ry Spring, etc.
 
She feigns a Smile, and clinging close,        65
  Cried out, I’ve now your Courage tried,
Y’have met no simple Country Mouse,
  My Dear, you shall be satisfied.
      ’Twas in the flow’ry Spring, etc.
 
My Father takes me for a Saint,        70
  Tho’ weary of my Maiden Geer,
That I may give you full Content,
  Pray look, Sir Knight, the Coast be clear.
      ’Twas in the flow’ry Spring, etc.
 
Look out, and see who comes and goes,        75
  And you shall quickly have your Will;
For if my Father nothing knows,
  Then I shall be a Maiden still.
      ’Twas in the flow’ry Spring, etc.
 
The witless Knight peeps o’er the Hedge,        80
  As one well pleased with what he heard,
Whilst she does both the Pistols snatch,
  And boldly stood upon her Guard.
      ’Twas in the flow’ry Spring, etc.
 
Keep off, keep off, Sir Fool, she cried,        85
  And from this Spot of Ground retire,
For if one Yard to me you stride,
  By my saved Maiden-head I fire.
      ’Twas in the flow’ry Spring, etc.
 
My Father once a Soldier was,        90
  And Maids from Ravishers would free,
His Daughter too, in such a Case,
  Can shoot a Gun as well as he.
      ’Twas in the flow’ry Spring, etc.
 
For Sovereign too, when Foe invades,        95
  Can on Occasion bravely kill,
Not shoot, like you, at harmless Maids,
  That won’t obey your Savage Will.
      ’Twas in the flow’ry Spring, etc.
 
Who when the good old Man, whose Cheer        100
  Showed welcome, tho’ of little cost,
A Rape thought on his Daughter dear,
  Most grateful way to pay your Host.
      ’Twas in the flow’ry Spring, etc.
 
Go home, ye Fop, where Game’s not dear,        105
  And for half Crown a Doxey get,
But seek no more a Partridge here,
  You could not keep, tho’ in your Net.
      ’Twas in the flow’ry Spring, etc.
 
At this the Knight looked like a Mome,        110
  He sues and vows, but vain was all,
She soon conveyed the Trophies home,
  And hung up in her Father’s Hall.
      ’Twas in the flow’ry Spring, etc.
 
 
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