A witty, bawdy, erotic but classic collection of poetry designed to celebrate the most sensual of human pleasures. Over the ages many poets have put pen to paper in celebration of that most raw and yet most beautiful of human instincts – erotic love. This anthology includes verse by Herrick, Marlowe, Jonson, Byron, Verlaine, Whitman, Yeats, Cummings and, from our own time, John Betjeman. All aspects of erotic love are to be found in these poems – from the bawdy to the sensuous and tender.
Green rushes with red shoots Green rushes with red shoots If the forest of her hair If the forest of her hair Either she was foul Either she was foul Don Juan (from Canto II) Don Juan (from Canto II) Ancient person of my heart Ancient person of my heart The Eve of St. Agnes The Eve of St. Agnes (excerpt) She lay all naked She lay all naked Before lowering the perfumed curtain Before lowering the perfumed curtain New Year's Eve New Year's Eve The Flea The Flea I abhor the slimie kisse I abhor the slimie kisse The Geranium The Geranium The Willing Mistress The Willing Mistress Ode 44 Ode 44 My lute awake My lute awake On Cynthia's Embraces On Cynthia's Embraces Naked she lay Naked she lay When his mouth faced my mouth When his mouth faced my mouth Madrigal (17th century) Madrigal (17th century) The Vine The Vine The Choice of Valentines The Choice of Valentines Down, Wanton, Down! Down, Wanton, Down! The Four and Twentieth Day of May The Four and Twentieth Day of May Upon the Nipples of Julia's Breast Upon the Nipples of Julia's Breast Style of the new moon Style of the new moon The Milkmaid's Epithalamium The Milkmaid's Epithalamium To the Fair Clorinda To the Fair Clorinda Twin Hills Twin Hills Imagine the magic Imagine the magic Ode 173 Ode 173 Three Poems Three Poems A Subaltern's Love Song A Subaltern's Love Song To His Mistress Going to Bed To His Mistress Going to Bed The Glow Worm The Glow Worm May I feel said he May I feel said he A sweet disorder in the dress A sweet disorder in the dress Tell me no more Tell me no more For my wife For my wife Now sleeps the crimson petal Now sleeps the crimson petal On the Marriage of TK and CC On the Marriage of TK and CC Figs Figs In the Orchard In the Orchard To Julia's Petticoat To Julia's Petticoat Now Now From pent-up aching rivers From pent-up aching rivers The Posture The Posture Mariana Mariana Before Parting Before Parting A beautiful woman A beautiful woman The Sick Rose The Sick Rose A Last Confession A Last Confession Doing, a filthy pleasure is Doing, a filthy pleasure is The Connoisseuse of Slugs The Connoisseuse of Slugs They flee from me They flee from me Late-Flowering Lust Late-Flowering Lust Nizam Nizam A Glimpse A Glimpse Thousands and Three Thousands and Three The Beautiful Swimmer The Beautiful Swimmer My mouth is often joined against his mouth My mouth is often joined against his mouth Foiled Sleep Foiled Sleep Laura and Lizzie Asleep Laura and Lizzie Asleep Christabel and Geraldine Christabel and Geraldine Wild Nights, Wild Nights Wild Nights, Wild Nights Penumbra from Chansons de Bilitis Penumbra from Chansons de Bilitis Hero and Leander Hero and Leander (excerpt) On the Happy Corydon and Phyllis On the Happy Corydon and Phyllis Salmacis and Hermaphroditus Salmacis and Hermaphroditus (excerpt) Leda and the Swan Leda and the Swan