THE SNARE OF THE FOWLER
" Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps."
I WRITE for those, of whom I know a few,
Young, pretty, and a little bit flirtatious,
Who would do even more harm, if they knew
The science of the Art of being Gracious.
Science in any game, we know, will tell,
And those who play this ought to play it well.
First, do not doubt that rivals please a man
(Not too successful ones, 'tis understood) -
They flatter him as nothing you do can,
And give him certainty his taste is good;
And though, at times, a little in his way,
They make him find the house he haunts more gay.
Do not abuse the girls he likes - 'tis far
From wise - for he will only think you spiteful;
Praise them, and show how ludicrous they are,
And, ten to one, he'll find the joke delightful.
From which I draw this never-failing rule:
Love lives through slander but not ridicule.
Do not appear incredulous of vows,
As is the way of self-distrusting youth;
A little doubt civility allows,
But not too long should you impugn their truth.
In short, if you would give true satisfaction,
Express belief in words, and doubt in action.
Should the day come when he is not the same,
Do not reproach and treat him like a sinner
The fault is yours. Find out the lady's name,
And be a friend, and ask them both to dinner;
And, I have heard, the game not always ends
When two old lovers change to two good friends.