The Dress-Maker

A poem by Jean de La Fontaine

A CLOISTERED nun had a lover
Dwelling in the neighb'ring town;
Both racked their brains to discover
How they best their love might crown.
The swain to pass the convent-door! -
No easy matter! - Thus they swore,
And wished it light. - I ne'er knew a nun
In such a pass to be outdone: -
In woman's clothes the youth must dress,
And gain admission. I confess
The ruse has oft been tried before,
But it succeeded as of yore.
Together in a close barred cell
The lovers were, and sewed all day,
Nor heeded how time flew away. -
"What's that I hear? Refection bell!
"'Tis time to part. Adieu! - Farewell! -
"How's this?" exclaimed the abbess, "why
"The last at table?" - "Madam, I
"Have had my dress-maker." - "The rent
"On which you've both been so intent
"Is hard to stop, for the whole day
"To sew and mend, you made her stay;
"Much work indeed you've had to do!
" - Madam, 't would last the whole night through,
"When in our task we find enjoyment
"There is no end of the employment."

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