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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

Nathaniel Parker Willis (1806–1867)

Love in a Cottage

THEY may talk of love in a cottage,

And bowers of trellised vine—

Of nature bewitchingly simple,

And milkmaids half-divine;

They may talk of the pleasure of sleeping

In the shade of a spreading tree,

And a walk in the fields at morning,

By the side of a footstep free!

But give me a sly flirtation

By the light of a chandelier—

With music to play in the pauses,

And nobody very near;

Or a seat on a silken sofa,

With a glass of pure old wine,

And mama too blind to discover

The small white hand in mine.

Your love in a cottage is hungry,

Your vine is a nest for flies—

Your milkmaid shocks the Graces,

And simplicity talks of pies!

You lie down to your shady slumber

And wake with a bug in your ear,

And your damsel that walks in the morning

Is shod like a mountaineer.

True love is at home on a carpet,

And mightily likes his ease—

And true love has an eye for a dinner,

And starves beneath shady trees.

His wing is the fan of a lady,

His foot’s an invisible thing,

And his arrow is tipp’d with a jewel

And shot from a silver string.