13 February 2012

A Solemn Warning to Single Men (1864)

A Solemn Warning to Single Men

Bachelors all, of St. Valentine’s Day beware!
This year is Leap Year: the ladies may choose!
How then you get in the fair sex’s way beware,
Or both your hearts and your freedom you’ll lose.
Princesses – waitresses,
Curly, or straight tresses,
Fond hearts, or traitresses,
Short ones or tall;
Elderly – youthful,
Deceitful or truthful,
Unfeeling or ruthful,
Beware of them all!

Theirs is the question this year; and for popping it,
No opportunity with they omit.
They may propose; and you’ve no chance of stopping it;
‘Please ask mamma’ does not answer a bit.
They’ll grant no truces,
Delays, or excuses;
Resistance no use is
To Leap Year’s mad freak,
That one chance of Hymen
For nervous and shy men,
(The girls can’t think why men
Are frightened to speak).

As for myself; I am terrified awfully –
‘No' to a woman ne’er yet have I said,
So run a great risk of behaving unlawfully –
Marrying all who may ask me to wed.
In fear, dash my wig, am I
Standing of bigamy;
Not to say trigamy
Twenty times o’er.
There is no hope escape of;
I’m in for the scrape of
My fate, in the shape of
The year sixty-four.

Then bachelors all, be advised and take warning,
There’s a great deal more danger than many suppose
Who are treating my sad admonition with scorning,
And make bosom friends of their poor bosoms’ foes.
Of their dreams they will wake out
And find the mistake out,
When the fair ones they break out
On Valentine’s Day.
And kneeling before us
Declare they adore us
And sing in a chorus –
‘Be mine, love, I pray!’

This petticoat government’s acts will be terrible,
Over our hearts most tyrannic in sway;
Rings for all fingers and rings for each merry bell,
Their laws insist on for Valentine’s Day.
For there’s no need for angling –
To set the bells jangling –
For white favours dangling,
For bridesmaids a score;
For white orange flowers,
And weddings and dowers,
Since they hold full powers,
Leap Year, sixty-four.

Anonymous, London Society, Volume 5 (1864), p. 176.