I came across this poem by Thomas Carew (1594-1642) awhile ago. He was an English “Cavalier” poet who lived in age when racy poetry was more common than one would think, that is, until the English Puritans shut most of it down. For those who think that porn is confined to the present day, all ages have had their expressions of eroticism or pure lust. And all ages have had their detractors as well.
This poem called “Rapture” and is a metaphorical yet frank description of sex with his lover. It is fairly long, about 165 lines, so I will only quote a few lines here, but the whole is worth reading if you ever have the chance. What I find interesting about this poem is one line in particular, which relates somewhat to my last post on Grace Kelly, who, it turns out, had quite a sexual appetite herself.
Let me begin by quoting the first two lines:
I will enjoy thee now, my Celia, come
And fly with me to Love’s Elysium.
I like them because they are a straightforward invitation to lovemaking, and sexual pleasure. The them of enjoyment of sex runs throughout the poem. Elysium was the place in Greco-Roman mythology where the souls of the just and virtuous went to spend all eternity in some state of pleasure and relaxation. Usually it is depicted as a verdant and happy place.
A few lines later (l.29-30), after describing how he and his lover will go away to some secluded yet enchanted place, he says:
There my enfranchised hand on every side
Shall o’er thy naked polished ivory slide.
These two lines reminded me of something I recently read about Grace Kelly. Apparently one of her early lovers, a man named Don Richardson, who was her tutor at an acting school, described her body as “stunning” and “something sculptured by Rodin”. It is true, for anyone who has had the enjoyment of lying next to a beautiful woman, that the female body can look like a fine piece of ivory sculpture. I especially love seeing a woman lying on her side, a position which accentuates well the curve of her hips. Also, a full but trimmed bush adds a nice contrast to the soft, bare skin of the rest of her body, and continually draws the eyes downward to her erogenous zone, tempting us to engage in further delights.
The poem then continues in great detail to describe his desire for her, how he is going to make love to her, using metaphorical language primarily drawn from nature to paint a picture of deep sensuality.
When the actual deed of intercourse, or, I should say, fucking occurs, he paints a nautical image (l.79-90).
Now in more subtle wreaths I will entwine
My sinewy thighs, my legs and arms with thine;
Thou like a sea of milk shalt lie displayed,
Whilst I the smooth, calm ocean invade,
With such a tempest, as when Jove of old
Fell down on Danae in a storm of gold;
Yet my tall pine shall in the Cyprian strait
Ride safe at anchor, and unlade her freight;
My rudder, with thy bold hand, like a tried
And skillful pilot, thou shalt steer, and guide
My bark into love’s channel, where it shall
Dance, as the bounding waves do rise or fall.
Again., I love the imagery. Their legs are entwined; she “like a sea of milk shalt lie displayed” while he the “smooth, calm ocean invade”. His penis is a “tall pine”; entering her is to “ride safe at anchor” she will use her hand to guide him inside her “into love’s channel” and the actual fucking or even throbbing of ejaculation is like a “dance, as bounding waves do rise or fall.”
According to a lot of people the world is going to hell because of sexual immorality and all the ages previous to ours were purer and better. It seems though, as this one small tidbit from the past reveals, that all previous ages were just as corrupt sexually as our own. People have always been the same, they like to fuck, nothing changes, they like to write about it and even view it in different forms and as the ancient Hebrew book of Ecclesiastes says, (1.9) “there is nothing new under the sun.”
“According to a lot of people the world is going to hell because of sexual immorality and all the ages previous to ours were purer and better. It seems though, as this one small tidbit from the past reveals, that all previous ages were just as corrupt sexually as our own.”
Indeed. Studying European History teaches you this. Royal marriages were anulled, and oftentimes they would say,”Yes, she’s still a virgin!” (when she obviously wasn’t.).
And if you get into history of the working class in the 1800’s, a lot of working class women had bastard children. They’d live near men who also worked in the factories, sleep with them, and the men would often disappear.
I wish I could find the study that said that women didn’t wait till marriage 100 years ago any more than they do now.
Even my mother told me things are as they always have been. My grandfather also let me on to that information after my grandmother’s death.
Humans imagine things how they should be, then they see them how they are. There were no good times or perfect times. There have just been times. And how we view them or analyze them is up to us.
Racer X said:
Well put, Mandy. I agree with all your points. Just ask anyone who lived in previous generations (although finding those before 1950 is becoming more and more difficult) and they will tell you things that belie the common perception of sexual morality. Before the pill people were not quite as free with their sexuality as today, but more people were having premarital sex or sex outside of marriage than we commonly assume today. I have the same experience with my grandparents, both of whom are now deceased.
“Humans imagine things how they should be, then they see them how they are. There were no good times or perfect times. There have just been times. And how we view them or analyze them is up to us.”
How true! Life is cyclical, and some things were better, some things worse in different periods. There was no golden age that we are constantly devolving from.
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I hate how people (manosphere in particular) idealize past times. You weren’t alive then, you don’t know. Hell my grandfather had three wives and cheated on all of them. Was this somehow ideal? No my grandma committed suicide. Also, my stepgramother the third was the one he did the cheating on the second one with. And although she denies it.
Racer X said:
Wow, you have a lot of history in your family. Yes, as you know from first hand experience, the past was far from ideal, and too many in the manosphere have a flawed and idealistic view of the it. As I mentioned before, some things were better, some things were worse. For instance, medicine is better today; but our overall social fragmentation is worse.
Your point about how absurd it is for people to fantasize about times they never lived in is quite right. Of course the ideal of a golden age goes back millennia, as the Garden of Eden or the classical stories about the different ages of man (Golden, Silver, Bronze, Iron) show. So I think tendency to idealize the past may be inherent in every generation.
I have a similar history in my family with my abuelo. I use it to warn men of the perils of “game.”
The whole “woman on the side” thing when you’re married can have the most tragic endings.