The Boots, Part One!

Here is the next installment of poetry generally attributed to Thomas, the sixth Earl of Harrington (circa 1730).  Check back tomorrow for the conclusion to this poem.  Enjoy!

The Boots (Part 1)

Think not, my friend, you love in vain,
Though Chloe treats you with disdain;
Nay, though she frowns at all you say,
And, scornful, turns her head away:
Yet let not that disturb your mind,
The fair one may at least be kind:
For there’s in love one happy hour,
In which few women have the power
To cross a wanton inclination,
Or struggle with the strong temptation:
But if the lucky minute’s lost,
You never can a conquest boast.

I know the truth of what I say,
I’ve let that minute slip away;
Long time I waited, but in vain,
It never more came back again:
But I in love affairs was raw,
And of the fair one stood in awe:
I thought her chaste as turtle-dove,
For I confess I was in love;
And freely own it, to my shame,
That it was I who was to blame;
As she has oftentimes confessed,
And of my folly made a jest.
But men are wiser grown of late,
And real love is gone out of date;
Few know the soft respectful passion,
While lewdness is become the fashion;
Seducing widows, maidens, wives,
Is all the pleasure of the lives;
And though they find the fair one shy,
And what they ask with scorn deny;
Yet they do not their suit give over,
Resistance but inflames them more:
And though at first their projects fail,
They think with patience to prevail:
The lucky minute watch with care,
And hoe at last to gain the fair.

Such men as these, I just confess,
Both meet with and deserve success:That perseverance will prevail,
I shall illustrate by a tale.

A handsome captain, young and gay,
With some dragoons at Limerick lay,
And with a quaker quartered there,
whose wife was to a wonder fair:
The captain viewed her with surprise,
Admired her features, shape, and eyes:
She seemed so formed to give delight,
That, quite transported with the sight,
He scarcely could conceal the flame,
Raised in his bosom by the dame.

The quaker knew his wife was fair,
And did not far advance in years,
He was not free from jealous fears;
Since Judith, spite of all her dress,
Was full of love and wantonness:
Was ever smiling, always gay,
Yet she had never gone astray;
But what she had not done, she might, —
This kept Ezekiel in a fright.

The captain, though exceeding young,
Had wit and a deluding tongue;
whenever he with Ezekiel sat,
He still complained of this and that,
And seemed to be so very nice,
He scarce could pardon any vice;
Regretting all the crying crimes,
That were so frequent in our times:
At drunkenness he loudly railed,
And swearing that too much prevailed,
Against uncleanness much inveighed
And gravely said he was a maid.
Thus did he talk, in hopes to gain
Ezekiel’s favor, but in vain;
The quaker was not apt to bite,
But thought him a young hypocrite,
And always was upon his guard,
Nor for his cant a farthing cared.

But, when with Judith left alone,
The youthful captain changed his tone;
He talked of love, of flames, and darts,
Of killing eyes, and wounded hearts:
And, falling down upon his knees,
Did on her slender fingers seize;”
And swore that he would die of grief,
If she denied him kind relief.

To be continued tomorrow . . .

Note: printed on the page following the title page was the following: “from a collection of poems that have been generally ascribed to Thomas, sixth Earl of Harrington. He was the son of Charles, the fifth Earl, and Margaret Lesslie, Countess of Rothes; and fought on the Royal side at the battle of Shirreffmuir, along with his brother John Lesslie, Earl of Rothes, and his own son, Lord Binning. These poems, according to Pinkerton, were printed about 1730, and have been reprinted in 1753, 1765, 1767, and 1777. He was also the author of Mia treatise on forest trees, which has gone through several editions. He died in 1735.” However, if these dates are correct (and I am by no means an expert historian in such matters), these poems could only have been written by either the first or second Earl of Harrington (William Stanhope and W.S. Jr.).


Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: