To Mary Housemaid, On Valentine's Day.

A poem by Thomas Hood

Mary, you know I've no love nonsense,
And though I pen on such a day,
I don't mean flirting, on my conscience,
Or writing in the courting way.

Though Beauty hasn't formed your feature,
It saves you p'rhaps from being vain,
And many a poor unhappy creature
May wish that she was half as plain.

Your virtues would not rise an inch,
Although your shape was two foot taller,
And wisely you let others pinch
Great waists and feet to make them smaller.

You never try to spare your hands
From getting red by household duty,
But doing all that it commands,
Their coarseness is a moral beauty.

Let Susan flourish her fair arms,
And at your old legs sneer and scoff,
But let her laugh, for you have charms
That nobody knows nothing of.

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