Say, pipe, let's talk of love;

Canst aid me? By my life,

I'll ask not gods above

To help me choose a wife;

But to thy gentle self I'll give the puzzling strife.

Thy color let me find,

And blue like smoke her eyes;

A healthy store her mind

As that which in thee lies,--

An evanescent draft, whose incense mounts the

And, pipe, a breath like thine;

Her hair an amber gold,

And wrought in shapes as fine

As that which now I hold;

A grace in every limb, her form thy slender mould.

And when her lips I kiss,

Oh, may she burn like thee,

And strive to give me bliss!

A comforter to be

When friends wax cold, time fades, and all departs from me.

And may she hide in smoke,

As you, my friend, have done,

The failings that would choke

My virtues every one,

Turn grief to laughing jest, or painful thought to fun.

Her aid be such as thine

To stir my brain a bit.

When 'round this hearth of mine

Friends sit and banter wit,

She'll shape a well-turned phrase, a subtle jest to hit.

In short, my sole delight

(Why, pipe, you sputter so!),

Whose angel visage bright

(And at me ashes throw!)

Shall never rival fear. You're jealous now, I know.

Nay, pipe, I'll not leave thee;

For of thy gifts there's one

That's passing dear to me

Whose equal she'd have none,--

The gift of peace serene; she'd have, alas, a tongue!