The Bachelor’s Last Shift

The BACHELOR’s last Shift.

Come, sweet Fifteen, come Thirty-Five,
Come Misses, who your charms survive,
Come Widows of a social vein,
Who live in hope to try again,
Come honoured Madam, come plain Goody,
Of aspect sallow, pale or ruddy,
(With me, good Sense, good Wit, good Nature,
Will well supply defect of Feature)
Come all, and listen to my Cry,
A Bachelor, ah must I die?

No longer I my cares dissemble,
At Thirty-Five believe I tremble,
And here expect my Bill of Fare,
Which Charity is wished to spare;
Of Constitution, firm and hearty,
I love my country, laugh at Party,
Of Temper, cheerful, kind and pliant,
Not quite a Dwarf, but far from Giant,
Of Wit — none think they lack their Share,
Of Features — almost Regular;
Of Worldly means, enough for One,
No Pedant, nor to book unknown,
Not destitute of signs of Grace,
Can show at Church a thoughtful Face,
All forms of Cruelty detest,
And hate the Rancour of a Jest;
And pleased, when Merit finds its Meed,
Nor Envy, if a knave succeed,
Mammon I seek not, nor refuse,
Which Pride and Ignorance abuse,
Peace, Competence, be still in sight,
Three meals a day, sound sleep at night.

THESE (LADIES) are my chief Pretensions,
Which, ponder well — I scorn Inventions;
Let (Pride and Coquetry apart)
Each proper Female ask her Heart;
Should that incline, may her fair Hand,
Her humble Servant’s Fate command.

+++++++++Leicester, Aug 31.