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.
 
Villanelle
By Philippe Desportes (1546–1606)
 
(Translated by Wilfrid Thorley)

ROSETTE, because I stayed away
  A little while, you wanton grew,
And I who knew how you did sway,
  Thereon was fain no more of you.
No more such fickle loveliness        5
  Shall hold me captive in its net:
We soon shall see, light shepherdess,
  Which shall be first to know regret.
 
While in vain tears my life I lose
  And do bemoan my lonely fate,        10
You who do love by simple use,
  Have fond arms for another mate;
No weather-vane more swiftly veers
  Before the wind than you, Rosette:
We soon shall see whose love outwears—        15
  Which shall be first to know regret.
 
Where are your holy promises,
  And where are now your farewell woes?
And could such sorrow-laden cries
  Come from a heart that gadding goes?        20
Pardie! but you’re a lying lass,
  And curst the man whose trust you get!
We soon shall see, light shepherdess,
  Which shall be first to know regret.
 
He who doth take the sweets were mine        25
  Lacks wit to woo as well as I,
And she I love is far more fine
  In beauty, love and loyalty.
Hold closely then your new-found swain;
  This love of mine is firmly set,        30
And then we soon shall see, of twain,
  Which shall be first to know regret.
 
 
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