Dear Nan, at thy command I string a sonnet,
And must in rhyme surpass the Italian skill,
Full fourteen lines with flimsy jingle fill.
What fools we lovers are--I've thus begun it--
The task is hard, but yet I dare not shun it--
I'll persevere and bid the muse distil
Strength in my thought from her inspiring rill.
Till to the length required I've neatly spun it.
But when at length thy fettered bard has done it,
Poor is the thought--the sentiment how chill!
See where he stands! Knight of the dashing quill!
Bewigged a critic, and he'll poop upon it
But let the witless growler have his will,
I bargained for thy kiss, and have now fairly won it.
Edward Williams (1746-1826)
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