Day Thirty-Six, and Love in the Afternoon with Christopher Marlowe
Posted by Elisa Beatty Feb 15 2012, 11:42 am
For today’s love poem, here’s a surprisingly frisky one from the late 1500s: Christopher Marlowe’s Corinnae Concubitus:
In summer’s heat and mid-time of the day
To rest my limbs upon a bed I lay,
One window shut, the other open stood,
Which gave such light as twinkles in a wood,
Like twilight glimpse at setting of the Sun,
Or night being past, and yet not day begun.
Such light to shamefast maidens must be shown,
Where they may sport, and seem to be unknown.
Then came Corinna in a long loose gown,
Her white neck hid with tresses hanging down,
Resembling fair Semiramis going to bed,
Or Layis of a thousand lovers sped.
I snatcht her gown: being thin, the harm was small,
Yet strived she to be covered therewithall.
And striving thus as one that would be cast,
Betrayed her self, and yielded at the last.
Stark naked as she stood before mine eye,
Not one wen in her body could I spy.
What arms and shoulders did I touch and see,
How apt her breasts were to be pressed by me.
How smooth a belly under her waist saw I,
How large a leg, and what a lusty thigh?
To leave the rest, all liked me passing well,
I clinged her naked body, down she fell,
Judge you the rest, being tired she bade me kiss;
Jove send me more such afternoons as this.
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