Come now, my lady, sit thee in this chair
And rest here so that I may rest as well.
These changes in the weather tax my soul
And I can not stand idly anymore.
What weather is this? There is not a storm!
A storm of sighs which gust about this room
Unfairly cause my skirts to billow round,
So share the private pain that plagues your heart
That my privates may stay properly clothed
A bawdy joke for so noble a cause
Aha! There is a cause! Now rightly sit
And say the name that causes you to blush
To seek the hand of one my father picks
Would be my duty, for I love him so,
And trust his judgment, as a daughter should,
It is a virtue if a man is brave
A virtue, yes, but better to be wise
And thus avoid the foolish dangers where
A brave man never pauses in his step
And swiftly springs the trap which one has laid
Then brave and wise, in equal parts, is he
The man I speak of--not a man, say I,
For as I said, I trust my father's eye, not mine,
And speak but of a dream in a man's form.
But brave and wise, and highly ranked as well--
Ensigns over Generals, I say
For generals will lead men to the charge
And thus are the first at the arrow's point
And first on the field, and first away from home.
Nay, give me one of ensign's rank who'll stay
Safely tucked into the battle's side
And safely at mine when the battle's done.
Agree, at least, that he be fair of face
And strong of arm, and straight of back, and tall
A man's good looks can only grow with age,
A dash of gray upon a nobly lined brow,
While ours shall bruise when grasped by cruel time's hand.
I choose a man always less fair than I
So that his eye be less inclined to rove.
You prefer that he be jealous of thee, instead?
But as I say it, it holds a small charm
To be loved so dearly, held so closely,
He could not help but think that other men
Would try their best to hold me just the same.
It sounds an inconvenience, such a love.
And what an inconvenience? Love is such a thing?
The manner of the man which you describe
A not-too-daring, not-too-noble,
Not-too-anything! Would such a man
Truly inspire any heart to love?
When passions fade, as passions always do,
I seek a man who'll match me in my stride,
Who'll trust me in his plans, and I in his,
And trust that if a man's lips brush my hand
Infidelity shall not soon follow.
A man whose principles are good, but then
Not so much that he would break, not bend,
When buffeted with winds of cruel misfortune.
I seek a man who would, in good years hence,
Remain a friend to all, and liked by all,
And live a life in comfort and in peace.
I try to see the wisdom of your words
But such a love would leave me colder still.
Then let us make a bet, my pretty friend:
You chase your sort of love, and I chase mine,
And twenty, thirty, fifty years from now
We shall compare our lives, and smartly count
The days of happiness, and days of grief,
And see which one of us was in the right.
As your friend, I would wish to lose that bet
And I the same, so let us aim to tie
And end our days with equal joy in hand.