Sir Wit, who is so much esteem'd,
And who is worthy of all honour,
Saw Beauty his superior deem'd
By folks who loved to gaze upon her;
At this he was most sorely vex'd.
Then came Sir Breath (long known as fit
To represent the cause of wit),
Beginning, rudely, I admit,
To treat the lady with a text.
To this she hearken'd not at all,
But hasten'd to his principal:
"None are so wise, they say, as you,
Is not the world enough for two?
If you are obstinate, good-bye!
If wise, to love me you will try,
For be assured the world can ne'er
Give birth to a more handsome pair."
Fair daughters were by Beauty rear'd,
Wit had but dull sons for his lot;
So for a season it appear'd
Beauty was constant, Wit was not.
But Wit's a native of the soil,
So he return'd, work'd, strove amain,
And found sweet guerdon for his toil!
Beauty to quicken him again.