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Full Online Book HomePoemsBelieving Love Was All A Bubble (vignette 18)
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Believing Love Was All A Bubble (vignette 18) Post by :dwooding Category :Poems Author :Matilda Betham Date :August 2011 Read :1882

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Believing Love Was All A Bubble (vignette 18)

Written jointly with a particular Friend, after a conversation similar to the subject, with the Damon of the Story.


Believing love was all a bubble,
And wooing but a needless trouble,
Damon grew fond of posied rings,
And many such romantic things;
But whether it were Fortune's spite,
That study wound his brain too tight,
Or that his fancy play'd him tricks,
He could not on the lady fix.
He look'd around,
And often found,
A damsel passing fair;
"_She's good enough,_" he then would cry,
And rub his hands, and wink his eye,
"_I'll be enamour'd there!_"

He thus resolved; but had not power
To hold the humour "_half an hour_"--
And critics, vers'd in Cupid's laws,
Pretended they had found a clause,
In an old volume on the shelf;--
Which said, if arrows chanc'd to fly,
When no bright nymph was passing by,
And lighted on a vacant breast;
The swain, Narcissus-like possest,
Strait doated on himself!

If so, his anxious friends declar'd
All future trouble might be spar'd:
A heart thus pierc'd would never rove,
Nor meanly seek a second love;
No distance e'er could give him pain--
No rivalry torment his brain.
Self-love will bear a many knocks,
A thousand mortifying shocks;
One moment languish in despair,
The next alert and debonair.

Poor Damon bit his nails and sigh'd,
But still he was not satisfied;
He could not rest, nor be content,
Until to Cupid's court he went.
Of rules establish'd in the place,
Or, how to enter with a grace,
He own'd he neither knew nor car'd,
But thought _such nonsense better spar'd_,
And went undaunted and alone
To place himself before the throne.
He kiss'd no hand, he bent no knee,
Nor measur'd steps of one, two, three,
But made a careless, slouching bow,
And said, "Your highness will allow,
That I am personable, tall,
A rather handsome face withal,
And fit to serve as volunteer,
At least as any present here!
Purblind, and deaf, and long and short,
Without distinction here resort;
Whilst I, neglected and forgot,
Sate daily watching in my cot;
And scarcely stirr'd, for fear there might,
Arrive that morning or that night
A captaincy, or some commission,
For I confess I have ambition,
And think if none had done me wrong
I had not been o'erlook'd so long.
To come then, Sir, I thought my duty,
Oh! make me sensible to beauty!
The ice about my bosom melt!
Infuse a warmth it never felt!
I come uncall'd! excuse my boldness!
In truth I could not bear the coldness!"

Half piqued to see him thus intrude,
And question in a way so rude;
Half tickled at the strange address,
Cupid said gravely, "We confess
There may be reason in your plea;
But still we very much admire
Your entering in such strange attire!
We cannot such omissions see,
And countenance--It should appear,
You know not we are sovereign here!
The soldiers of our chosen band
Approach not till we give command.
We every look and action sway,
And they with prompt delight obey.
For height, and size, and such like things,
We care far less than other kings;
But station, learning, no pretence,
Can make us with our power dispense.
The warrior must not here look big,
The lawyer doffs his forked wig,
The portly merchant rich and free,
Forgets his pride and bends the knee;
The doctor gives his terrors scope,
And, like a patient, whines for hope;
In short the wise have childish fits,
And fools and madmen find their wits.
"Then go--this silly pride subdue,
And thou shall be our servant too!
Acquire the courtly way of speech,
Not, 'do you hear?' but, 'I beseech.'
And let a suitor's voice and air,
Thy grievances and zeal declare,
We never scorn a humble prayer!"

Expecting then a heart submiss,
He held him forth his hand to kiss;
For petrified the while he spoke,
With troubled wonder in his look
Poor Damon stood; aghast, suspended,
But gain'd his senses as he ended;
Abruptly turning on his toe,
"I thank you, Master Cupid, no!
I am a freeman and a brave,
And will not stoop to be a slave.
Your rules will never do for me,
I'd rather learn the rule of three--
"And since I find it is the plan,
To make me an automaton,
I'll case my heart in triple mail,
And fence it so completely round,
That all this vaunted skill shall fail,
Those blunted arrows back rebound;
For know, usurper! from this hour,
I scorn thy laws, abjure thy power!
From this dear moment I despise
The whole artillery of eyes;
Reason alone shall be my guide,
And Reason's voice shall win my bride.
Some bonny lass shall say I can
Love you as well as any man;
I will the self-same troth accord,
Most gladly take her at her word;
And we may just as happy prove
Without the fooleries of love.
She must not ask so much attention,
As many ladies I could mention;
But when I do not want to sway,
I'll always let her have her way;
And study to oblige her too,
When I have nothing else to do;
And am not tired, or wish to rest,
Or like some other plan the best,
For, more than this would be a task,
None but thy votaries would ask.
She must have riches, beauty, grace,
And modest sweetness in her face."
Just then he saw a scornful sneer
Upon Dan Cupid's face appear;
While courtiers whispered with a grin,
"Poor fellow, he'll be taken in!
The finest birds are always shy,
The rarest at a distance fly,
And Reason cannot soar so high."
"Aye, you may laugh, to prove her mind
At once exalted and refined,
I'll watch her skill in music's art;
By ear and fingers judge the heart,
And then it will not be believ'd
I can be easily deceiv'd.
I only grieve that in my prime
I've wasted so much precious time,
For long ere this I might have married,
Had I not so unwisely tarried,
And vex'd my brains in looking round
For that which never could be found."

"And would'st thou wish," the monarch cried,
"To set our gentle laws aside?
Thou hast no friend in Common Sense,
In such affairs she thinks it wisest,
To stand aside without pretence,
And sanction laws which thou despisest.
But try the plan, it merits praise,
Success may crown its winning ways!
The lady must be blind indeed,
With whom such offers of neglect,
And cool, habitual disrespect
Would not succeed.
But come no longer here to flout us,
Since, truly, thou canst do without us;
For dignity is lost in sport,
An outlaw for contempt of court;
We banish thee with all thy pride
Until thy heart be rarified."

(The end)
Matilda Betham's poem: Believing Love Was All A Bubble Vignette 18

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