Nonfiction > Lionel Strachey, et al., eds. > The World’s Wit and Humor > American
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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes.  1906.
Vols. I–V: American
 
Love in a Cottage
By Nathaniel Parker Willis (1806–1867)
 
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        5
  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—        10
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        15
  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!        20
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,        25
  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,        30
And his arrow is tipp’d with a jewel
  And shot from a silver string.
 
 
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