Nec tantum Veneris, quantum studiosa culinae.
Insensible of soft desire,
Behold Colemira prove
More partial to the kitchen fire
Than to the fire of Love.
Night's sable clouds had half the globe o'erspread,
And silence reign'd, and folks were gone to bed;
When love, which gentle sleep can ne'er inspire,
Had seated Damon by the kitchen fire.
Pensive he lay, extended on the ground,
The little Lares kept their vigils round
The fawning cats compassionate his case,
And purr around, and gently lick his face:
To all his plaints the sleeping curs reply,
And with hoarse snorings imitate a sigh:
Such gloomy scenes with lovers' minds agree,
And solitude to them is best society.
"Could I," he cried, "express how bright a grace
Adorns thy morning hands, and well-wash'd face,
Thou wouldst, Colemira, grant what I implore,
And yield me love, or wash thy face no more.
"Ah! who can see, and seeing not admire,
Whene'er she sets the pot upon the fire?
Her hands outshine the fire and redder things;
Her eyes are blacker than the pot she brings.
"But sure no chamber-damsel can compare,
When in meridian lustre shines my fair,
When warm'd with dinner's toil, in pearly rills,
Adown her goodly cheeks the sweat distils.
"Oh! how I long, how ardently desire,
To view those rosy fingers strike the lyre!
For late, when bees to change their climes began,
How did I see them thrum the frying-pan!
"With her I should not envy George his queen,
Though she in royal grandeur deck'd be seen;
Whilst rags, just sever'd from my fair one's gown,
In russet pomp and greasy pride hang down.
"Ah! how it does my drooping heart rejoice,
When in the hall I hear thy mellow voice!
How would that voice exceed the village bell,
Wouldst thou but sing, 'I like thee passing well!'
"When from the hearth she bade the pointers go,
How soft, how easy, did her accents flow!
'Get out,' she cried: 'when strangers come to sup,
One ne'er can raise those snoring devils up.'
"Then, full of wrath, she kick'd each lazy brute;
Alas! I envied even that salute:
'Twas sure misplaced