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.
 
Dulcina
By Sir Walter Raleigh (1554?–1618)
 
(Attributed; from The Percy Folio Mss.)

AS at noon Dulcina rested
  In her sweet and shady bower;
Came a shepherd, and requested
  In her lap to sleep an hour.
    But from her look        5
    A wound he took
  So deep, that for a further boon
    The nymph he prays.
    Whereto she says,
  Forgo me now, come to me soon.        10
 
But in vain she did conjure him
  To depart her presence so;
Having a thousand tongues to allure him,
  And but one to bid him go:
    Where lips invite,        15
    And eyes delight,
  And cheeks, as fresh as rose in June,
    Persuade delay;
    What boots, she say,
  Forgo me now, come to me soon?        20
 
He demands what time for pleasure
  Can there be more fit than now:
She says, night gives loves that leisure,
  Which the day can not allow.
    He says, the sight        25
    Improves delight
  Which she denies: Nights mirkie noon
    In Venus’ plays
    Makes bold, she says;
  Forgo me now, come to me soon.        30
 
But what promise or profession
  From his hands could purchase scope?
Who would sell the sweet possession
  Of such beauty for a hope?
    Or for the sight        35
    Of lingering night
  Forego the present joys of noon?
    Though ne’er so fair
    Her speeches were,
  Forgo me now, come to me soon.        40
 
How, at last, agreed these lovers?
  She was fair, and he was young:
The tongue may tell what th’ eye discovers;
  Joys unseen are never sung.
    Did she consent,        45
    Or he relent:
  Accepts he night, or grants she noon;
    Left he her a maid,
    Or not; she said
  Forgo me now, come to me soon.        50
 
 
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