’Twas pleasant them together to behold;
The wives, in emulation, were not cold;
In easy talk they’d to each other say:
How pleasing to exchange from day to day!
What think you, neighbour, if, to try our luck,
For once we’ve something new, and valets truck?
This last, if made, the secret had respect;
The other had at first a good effect.
Forone good month the whole proceeded well;
But, at the end, disgust dispersed the spell;
And neighbour Stephen, as we might suppose,
Began dissatisfaction to disclose;
Lamented much Antoinetta’s stop;
No doubt he was a loser by the swop;
Yet neighbour Giles expressed extreme regret,
That t’other from him ought to boot should get:
Howe’er, he would retrucking not consent,
So much he otherwise appeared content.
Ithappened on a day, as Stephen strayed
Within a wood, he saw, beneath a shade,
And near the stream, asleep, and quite alone,
Antoinetta, whom he wished his own.
He near her drew, and waked her with surprise;
The change ne’er struck her when she ope’d her eyes;
The gay gallant advantage quickly took,
And, what he wished, soon placed within his hook.
’Tis said, he found her better than at first;
Why so? you ask: was she then at the worst?
A curious question, truly, you’ve designed;
In Cupid’s am’rous code of laws you’ll find—
Bread got by stealth, and eat where none can spy,
Is better far than what you bake or buy;
For proof of this, ask those most learn’d in love
Truth we prefer, all other things above;
Yet Hymen, and the god of soft desire,
How much soe’er their union we admire,
Are not designed together bread to bake;
In proof, the sleeping scene for instance take.
Good cheer was there: each dish was served with taste;
The god of love, who often cooks in haste,
Most nicely seasoned things to relish well;
In this he’s thought old Hymen to excel.
to his clasp restored,
Our neighbour Stephen, who his wife adored,
Quite raw, howe’er, in this, exclaimed apart
Friend Giles has surely got some secret art,
For now my rib displays superior charms,
To what she had, before she left my arms.
Let’s take her back, and play the Norman trick
Deny the whole, and by our priv’lege stick.