Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
Choice of a Wife
By Royall Tyler (1757–1826)
  FLUTTERING lovers, giddy boys,
Sighing soft for Hymen’s joys,
Would you shun the tricking arts,
Beauty’s traps for youthful hearts,
Would you treasure in a wife,        5
Riches, which shall last through life;
Would you in your choice be nice,
Hear Minerva’s sage advice.
  Be not caught with shape, nor air,
Coral lips, nor flowing hair;        10
Shape and jaunty air may cheat,
Coral lips may speak deceit.
Girls unmask’d would you descry,
Fix your fancy on the eye;
Nature there has truth design’d,        15
’T is the eye, that speaks the mind.
Shun the proud, disdainful eye,
Frowning fancied dignity,
Shun the eye with vacant glare;
Cold indifference winters there.        20
Shun the eager orb of fire,
Gloating with impure desire;
Shun the wily eye of prude,
Looking coy to be pursued.
From the jilting eye refrain,        25
Glancing love, and now disdain.
Fly the fierce, satiric eye,
Shooting keen severity;
For nature thus, her truth design’d
And made the eye proclaim the mind.        30

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