The Language of Love

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He loved a wench well; and one time getting up one of the Mayds of Honour up against a tree in a Wood (‘twas his First Lady) who seemed at first boarding to be something fearfull of her Honour, and modest, she cryed, Sweet Sir Walter, what doe you me ask? Will you undo me? Nay, sweet Sir Walter! Sweet Sir Walter! Sir Walter. At last as the danger and the pleasure at the same time grew higher, she cried in extasey, Swisser Swatter, Swisser Swatter.’
AUBREY: BRIEF LIVES, SIR WALTER RALEIGH

Wicked Sir Walter with the maid of honour
Up against a tree in Windsor Great Park,
Pursuing his pleasure with a swift and even stroke,
She cried: ‘Ah, sweet Sir Walter!’ when first he fell upon her,
‘Will you undo me?’ But when he reached his mark,
‘Swisser Swatter, swisser swatter!’ were all the words she spoke.

Love needs no language: the rhythms of heaven
In the mouths of great poets cannot compare
With that eloquent, ecstatic ‘Swisser, swisser swatter!’
As it marked and matched that stroke so swift and even.
Poets may pen gems sitting easy in a chair;
What they babble in bed can be quite another matter.

Some in exultant union may be able to utter
A whole world of vision, a new universe
In words that express and enchant and compel:
‘Darling, darling, darling!’ is all that we mutter.
It has the rhythm of love; it has the beat of verse;
It tells all and, after all, what else is there to tell.

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