Aphra Behn

The History of the Nun

 1688

“I was but young,” said Katteriena, “about thirteen, and knew not what to call the new-known pleasure that I felt when even I looked upon the young Arnaldo; my heart would heave whenever he came in view, and my disordered breath came doubly from my bosom; a shivering seized me, and my face grew wan; my thought was at a stand, and sense itself for that short moment lost its faculties. But when he touched me, O, no hunted deer, tired with his flight and just secured in shades, pants with a nimbler motion than my heart! At first I thought the youth had had some magic art to make one faint and tremble at his touches, but he himself, when I accused his cruelty, told me he had no art but awful passion and vowed that when I touched him, he was so: so trembling, so surprised, so charmed, so pleased. When he was present, nothing could displease me, but when he parted from me, then ’twas rather a soft, silent grief that eased itself by sighing and by hoping that some kind moment would restore my joy. When he was absent, nothing could divert me, however I strove, however I toiled for mirth; no smile, no joy dwelt in my heart or eyes; I could not feign, so very well I loved, impatient in his absence, I would count the tedious parting hours and pass them off like useless visitants whom we wish were gone. These are the hours where life no business has—at least, a lover’s life. But, O, what minutes seemed the happy hours when on his eyes I gazed and he on mine, and half our conversation lost in sighs—sighs, the soft, moving language of a lover.”

Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller

“Love Potion No. 9”

 1959

I took my troubles down to Madame Ruth
You know that gypsy with the gold-capped
    tooth
She’s got a pad down at Thirty-fourth and Vine
Sellin’ little bottles of
Love Potion Number Nine

I told her that I was a flop with chicks
I’ve been this way since 1956
She looked at my palm and she made a magic
    sign
She said, “What you need is
Love Potion Number Nine”

She bent down and turned around and gave me
    a wink
She said, “I’m gonna mix it up right here in the
    sink”
It smelled like turpentine, it looked like India
    ink
I held my nose, I closed my eyes, I took a drink

I didn’t know if it was day or night
I started kissin’ everything in sight
But when I kissed a cop down at Thirty-fourth
    and Vine
He broke my little bottle of
Love Potion Number Nine

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