[Originally published September 20, 2012.]

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William Shakespeare

Ladyes, thou dost little know the height of his love
When thou garbs’t thyself the morning after
In his manly apparel
Which serve only to heighten the fairness of thy
Beauteous, freckled bosom
And show the ripe perfections of thy legs
And cause great increase of desire in those vulgar parts
We shall not here name.

Ernest Hemingway

And you silently tipped the ice-cube down his shirt. The ice-cube was cold. His body was hot. The cold ice-cube felt good inside his shirt. He didn’t feel hot. The sun began to beat down on the man, and the shirt, and the ice. The ice-cube began to melt. It was not a bad feeling. It was a tingly feeling.

Homer

When he journeys to your wine-dark caverns, he must be bidden as surely as any sailor; proud Odysseus must take you for his guide, his Muse—else he will be wrecked between the Scylla of your wrath and the Charybdis of your indifference, and never land his stout craft on your happy isle.

James Joyce

Little lace underthings most scrumsy, and little black dress allwhimsy, for the dinner, the stately sloshingdinner date, the tremblyponderousdinnerdate, the sighs, the frowns, the silences, the touching of hand to hand like mothfeelers under the shrinking tablecloth… ah the yesyeskissings on the doorstep! The retreatings! Muciny! O ciel!

P.G. Wodehouse

With a frightfully shy chappie like myself, one has to have a bit of buck and fizz to make the thing go, and there’s no denying we like a bit of a commanding hand in the bedroom, whether on top or below. A really enterprising topper of a girl could manage things nicely, but it does require a dash of Jeeves-like finesse. Speaking of, stop me if I’ve told you the story of Honoria Glossop and the cats in the bedroom…

The Bible: Book of James

O Daughter of Mary, begat by Jezebel and also Eve, arise, and go unto he who is waiting in the foyer. Remember that he who waits without is the truest lover. He who does not call is plagued by doubt, doubt that casts his mind into shadow. He who doubts is like the sea, eternally tossing, slave to each new wave of women that crosses his path. Yea, he is tempted by new daughters; he is a slave to empty desires. Avoid temptation, my daughter; avoid he who runs away; he who doubts. Rise up, my daughters and sing the praises of he who waits without.

Vladimir Nabokov

My lovely young girls, my darling rose-flushed young girls, my dearest darling tender soft-armed dreamy young girls, I am quite undone when with that shy ladylike demeanor you text me filthy things on my iPhone through the long and cruel day. I long—longing that you would never understand, my darling—for the moment when I can rush home and touch the waiting petal, the penumbra, the pinkest rosebud.

J.R.R. Tolkien

Tell him Goodbye, goodbye forever, when your feet can no longer tread the waiting Road together! It is twilight and the shadows begin to grow long: a boyfriend would not come amiss in the great evenfall. But in that darkness when all things are forgotten, you shall still be consoled by the light of the Ring he gave you in a happier time, and return dignified: a great, a proud, a single woman.