Love In A Cottage

A poem by Nathaniel Parker Willis

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 mamma 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 tipped with a jewel,
And shot from a silver string.

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