A while after I published the ancient bit of smut called Signior Dildo, an erudite friend made me a gift of a book called The Complete Poems of John Wilmot, Earl Of Rochester. And, indeed, the book has a very complete feel to it, as one would expect of a scholarly tome published by Yale University Press.

I won’t say that Signior Dildo is the dirtiest poem Wilmot ever wrote, but it would be a mistake to assume that his complete works are chock-full of erotica. No indeed, like most poets in his age his output ranged widely across many topics, some of them impossibly obscure to the modern reader. But there remain a number of raunchy gems to be found in The Complete Poems.

My favorite is the dangerous Satyr on Charles II. Wilmot is said to have been forced to flee from court after he delivered it “by mistake into the King’s hands…instead of another the King asked him for.” Oops…

A Satyre on Charles II

In th’ isle of Britain, long since famous grown
For breeding the best cunts in Christendom,
There reigns, and oh! long may he reign and thrive,
The easiest King and best bred man alive.
Him no ambition moves to get renown
Like the French fool, that wanders up and down
Starving his people, hazarding his crown.
Peace is his aim, his gentleness is such,
And love he loves, for he loves fucking much.

Nor are his high desires above his strength:
His scepter and his prick are of a length;
And she may sway the one who plays with th’ other,
And make him little wiser than his brother.
Poor Prince! thy prick, like thy buffoons at court,
Will govern thee because it makes thee sport.
‘Tis sure the sauciest prick that e’er did swive,
The proudest, peremptoriest prick alive.
Though safety, law, religion, life lay on ‘t,
‘Twould break through all to make its way to cunt.
Restless he rolls about from whore to whore,
A merry monarch, scandalous and poor.

To Carwell, the most dear of all his dears,
The best relief of his declining years,
Oft he bewails his fortune, and her fate:
To love so well, and be beloved so late.
For though in her he settles well his tarse,
Yet his dull, graceless bollocks hang an arse.
This you’d believe, had I but time to tell ye
The pains it costs to poor, laborious Nelly,
Whilst she employs hands, fingers, mouth, and thighs,
Ere she can raise the member she enjoys.

All monarchs I hate, and the thrones they sit on,
From the hector of France to the cully of Britain.

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