Love in a Cottage

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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