Poem of the day

Madam, Be Covered
by Anonymous (circa 1650)

Madam be covered! why stand you bare?
It fits not with your female sex.
We know you carry worthy Ware,
Which found may be without Index.
      These bare signs do but bid us look
      For unknown stuff in your two-leaved book.

Spartan Ladies some there be
Which to their Suitors naked stood,
And you your bare Breasts let us see,
Which tells your hidden parts are good.
      Thus wanton Venus drew on Mars,
      A bare breast shews an open Tarse.

They hang forth signs at common Inns,
That strangers may know where to lodge;
And you show forth your naked Twins,
And use them as a Brothel-badge.
      These wanton signs direct men gratis
      The highway to your nunquam satis.

Diana being naked seen
Did hornify Acteon’s crest.
And the fair stripped Hebrew Queen
Her husband’s forehead finely dressed;
      Shut up then Madam! flye men’s scorns
      For open breasts breed secret horns.

The Persian Matrons when their men
Before the Medes did fly and fall;
For to encourage them again,
Showed them their Bellies bare and all.
      You with your fair breasts would belike
      Move even a heartless man to strike.

Our Grandam Eve before the Fall
Went naked, and shamed not a whit;
You, not to one but unto all.
Show both your Hills and naked Pit:
      Very well read in Rhetorick School,
      You show us but a part for th’whole.

The Mask you wear upon your Face
Upon your Breasts would better show;
By nature that’s a naked place,
Then, Madam, use your Mask below,
      Lest that some gazing fellow venture,
      And so descend to Love’s low centre.

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