A NYMPH WHEN AS THE SUMMER'S BEAMS
An anonymous poem
- NYMPH when
as the Summer's beams
- Made hot the colder air,
- Into a fountain's Crystal streams,
- To bathe her did repair:
- And by degrees she boldly did at length
- Those parts unhide:
- Which to be bashful, nature made
- So curious to be spied.
- Oft downward would she cast her head,
- And blushing look away;
- Then twist her arms, and twine her thighs,
- As fearful to betray
- Her self unto her fearful self:
- Thus frighted she at last,
- Into the fountains swiftest streams,
- Her purest body cast.
- The waves did proudly bear her up,
- And as she waded in the silver-brook,
- Seem'd not to cleanse her as she swam,
- But from her purifying took.
- And underneath the Crystal streams,
- As she did gliding pass,
- She seemed like a Lily fair,
- That's sunk into a glass.
- And as she did her dainty arms
- In sundry sort display,
- Ofttimes she would Narcissus-like
- With her own shadow play.
- Oft would she lie upon her back:
- With legs and arms both spread,
- And imitate those wanton joys,
- That women use in bed.
- Women their modesty forget
- And often lay aside;
- This Nymph, that thought herself unseen,
- Was by a Shepherd spy'd:
- Who ravished with the sight he saw,
- No longer staid to woo her,
- But flung away his hook and scrip,
- And boldly stept unto her.
- She shrieking dived, thought to have hid
- Herself, but all in vain,
- The Waters to preserve her life,
- Did bear her up again;
- The Shepherd caught her in his arms,
- And laid her on the brink,
- And what he did without delay,
- You know, or else may think.
"A Nymph When As the Summer's
Beams" is reprinted from Poetica Erotica. Ed. T.R.
Smith. New York: Crown Publishers, 1921.