Leigh Hunt's 'Jenny' Changes Her Mind

Jenny kissed me.
Sex, I deemed, would be consensual
Though written contracts seemed essential.
Their facts were writ in white and black.
She'd kissed me first, I'd kissed her back,
Consenting adults, willing lovers
There beneath her duvet covers;
As watertight as contracts get,

Unassailable. And yet
The Prosecution argued strongly 
That I had treated Jenny wrongly
And must accept how she now saw
What happened forty years before
Was all that mattered under Law.
Now here in Belmarsh I regret
Jenny kissed me when we met.

from The Wrong Ancient Mariner
Publ. by Grosvenor House Press, 2023.
first appeared in The Spectator.