Nets And Cages. (Swedish Air.)

A poem by Thomas Moore

Come, listen to my story, while
Your needle task you ply:
At what I sing some maids will smile,
While some, perhaps, may sigh.
Though Love's the theme, and Wisdom blames
Such florid songs as ours,

Yet Truth sometimes, like eastern dames,
Can speak her thoughts by flowers.
Then listen, maids, come listen, while
Your needle's task you ply;
At what I sing there's some may smile,
While some, perhaps, will sigh.

Young Cloe, bent on catching Loves,
Such nets had learned to frame,
That none, in all our vales and groves,
E'er caught so much small game:
But gentle Sue, less given to roam,
While Cloe's nets were taking
Such lots of Loves, sat still at home,
One little Love-cage making.
Come, listen, maids, etc.

Much Cloe laughed at Susan's task;
But mark how things went on:
These light-caught Loves, ere you could ask
Their name and age, were gone!
So weak poor Cloe's nets were wove,
That, tho' she charm'd into them
New game each hour, the youngest Love
Was able to break thro' them.
Come, listen, maids, etc.

Meanwhile, young Sue, whose cage was wrought
Of bars too strong to sever,
One Love with golden pinions caught.
And caged him there for ever;
Instructing, thereby, all coquettes,
Whate'er their looks or ages,
That, tho 'tis pleasant weaving Nets,
'Tis wiser to make Cages.

Thus, maidens, thus do I beguile
The task your fingers ply.--
May all who hear like Susan smile,
And not, like Cloe, sigh!

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