If truth give pleasure, surely we should try;
To found our tales on what we can rely;
Th’ experiment repeatedly I’ve made,
And seen how much realities persuade:
They draw attention: confidence awake;
Fictitious names however we should take,
And then the rest detail without disguise:
’Tis thus I mean to manage my supplies.
Ithappened then near Mans, a Normand town,
For sapient people always of renown,
A maid not long ago a lover had
Brisk, pleasing, ev’ry way a handsome lad;
The down as yet was scarcely on his chin;
The girl was such as many wished to win:
Had charms and fortune, all that was desired,
And by the Mansian sparks was much admired;
Around they swarmed, but vain was all their art
Too much our youth possessed the damsel’s heart.
Theparents, in their wisdom, meant the fair
Should marry one who was a wealthy heir;
But she contrived to manage matters well;
In spite of ev’ry thing which might repel,
(I know not how) at length he had access;
Though whether through indulgence or address,
It matters not: perhaps his noble blood
Might work a change when fully understood:
The Lucky, ev’ry thing contrives to please;
The rest can nothing but misfortune seize.
Thelover had success; the parents thought
His merit such as prudence would have sought;
What more to wish?—the miser’s hoarded store:
The golden age’s wealth is now no more,
A silly shadow, phantom of the brain;
O happy time! I see indeed with pain,
Thou wilt return:—in Maine thou shalt arise;
Thy innocence, we fondly may surmise,
Had seconded our lover’s ardent flame,
And hastened his possession of the dame.
Theslowness usually in parents found,
Induced the girl, whose heart by love was bound;
To celebrate the Hymeneal scene,
As in the statutes of Cythera’s queen.
Our legendary writers this define
A present contract, where they nothing sign;
The thing is common;—marriage made in haste:
Love’s perparation: Hymen’s bit for taste.
Notmuch examination Cupid made,
As parent, lawyer, priest, he lent his aid,
And soon concluded matters as desired;
The Mansian wisdom no ways was required.
Ourspark was satisfied, and with his belle,
Passed nights so happy, nothing could excel;
’Twere easy to explain;—the double keys,
And gifts designed the chambermaid to please,
Made all secure, and ev’ry joy abound;
The soft delights with secrecy were crowned.