The Women's Complaint to Venus

The following is a "broadside ballad" intended to have been distributed while Captain Edward Rigby was standing in the pillory after being convicted of sodomy in 1698. For an account of his life and the full text of the trial see The Trial of Capt. Edward Rigby.

How happy were good English Faces
Till Mounsieur from France
Taught Pego [the penis] a Dance
To the tune of old Sodom's Embraces.

But now we are quite out of Fashion:
Poor Whores may be Nuns
Since Men turn their Guns
And vent on each other their passion.

In the Raign of Good Charles the Second
Full many a Jade
A Lady was made
And the Issue Right Noble was reckon'd:

But now we find to our Sorrow
We are overrun
By Sparks of the Bum
And peers of the Land of Gommorah.

The Beaus too, whom most we rely'd on
At Night make a punk
Of him that's first drunk
Tho' unfit for the Sport as John Dryden.

The Souldiers, whom next we put trust in,
No widdow can tame
Or virgin reclaim
But at the wrong Place will be thrusting.

Fair Venus, thou Goddess of Beauty,
Receive our Complaint.
Make Rigby Recant
And the Souldiers henceforth do their duty.

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.) "The Women's Complaint to Venus, 1698", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook. Updated 30 April 2013 <>.

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