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Category: Funny Love and Courtship Poems
       Classic humorous and funny poems about love, courtship, marriage, and true love. Short poems, love poems, and romantic poems.

  PARING-TIME ANTICIPATED  

I shall not ask Jean Jacques Rousseau
If birds confabulate or no;
'Tis clear that they were always able
To hold discourse, at least in fable;
And e'en the child who knows no better
Than to interpret, by the letter,
A story of a cock and bull,
Must have a most uncommon skull.
It chanced, then, on a winter's day,
But warm, and bright, and calm as May,
The birds, conceiving a design
To forestall sweet St. Valentine,
In many an orchard, copse, and grove,
Assembled on affairs of love,
And, with much twitter and much chatter,
Began to agitate the matter.
At length a bullfinch, who could boast
More years and wisdom than the most,
Entreated, opening wide his beak,
A moment's liberty to speak;
And, silence publicly enjoin'd,
Deliver'd briefly thus his mind:
"My friends, be cautious how ye treat
The subject upon which we meet;
I fear we shall have winter yet."
A finch, whose tongue knew no control,
With golden wing and satin poll,
A last year's bird, who ne'er had tried
What marriage means, thus pert replied:
"Methinks the gentleman," quoth she,
"Opposite in the apple-tree,
By his good-will would keep us single
Till yonder heaven and earth shall mingle,
Or--which is likelier to befall--
'Til death exterminate us all.
I marry without more ado.
My dear Dick Redcap, what say you?"
Dick heard, and tweedling, ogling, bridling,
Turned short 'round, strutting, and sidling,
Attested, glad, his approbation
Of an immediate conjugation.
Their sentiments, so well express'd,
Influenced mightily the rest;
All pair'd, and each pair built a nest.
But, though the birds were thus in haste,
The leaves came on not quite so fast,
And destiny, that sometimes bears
An aspect stern on man's affairs,
Not altogether smiled on theirs.
The wind, of late breathed gently forth,
Now shifted east, and east by north;
Bare trees and shrubs but ill, you know,
Could shelter them from rain or snow.
Stepping into their nests, they paddled,
Themselves were chill'd, their eggs were addled.
Soon every father bird and mother
Grew quarrelsome, and peck'd each other,
Parted without the least regret,
Except that they had ever met,
And learn'd in future to be wiser
Than to neglect a good adviser.

                            MORAL

Misses, the tale that I relate
    This lesson seems to carry:
Choose not alone a proper mate,
    But proper time to marry.

                            William Cowper.


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