Monday, August 8, 2016

1800s advice to share with friends who are dating

While poking through some books in a rented vacation cottage, I came across this poem from the 1800s.  There's a bit-o-wisdom here!


John G. Saxe

I asked of Echo, 't other day,
(Whose words are few and often funny,)
What to a novice she could say
Of courtship, love, and matrimony?
Quoth Echo, plainly, --"Matter-o'-money!"

Whom should I marry?--should it be
A dashing damsel, gay and pert,
A pattern of inconstancy;
Or selfish, mercenary flirt?
Quoth Echo, sharply, --"Nary flirt!"

What if, a weary of the strife
That long has lured the dear deceiver,
She promise to amend her life,
And sin no more; can I believer her?
Quoth Echo, very promptly, -- "Leave her!"

But if some maiden with a heart
On me should venture to bestow it,
Pray should I act the wiser part
To take the treasure, or forego it?
Quoth Echo, with decision,--"Go it!"

But what if, seemingly afraid
To bind her fate in Hymen's fetter,
She vow she means to die a maid,
in answer to my loving letter?
Quote Echo, rather coolly,--"Let her!"

What if, in spite of her disdain,
I find my heart intwined about
With Cupid's dear delicious chain
So closely that I can't get out?
Quote Echo, laughingly,--"Get out!"

But if some maid with beauty blest,
As pure and fair as Heaven can make her,
Will share my labor and my rest
Till envious Death shall overtake her?
Quote Echo (Sotto voce),--"Take her!"

From Journeys Through Bookland vol. 3
1909 Charles h. Sylvester

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