by Alfred Perceval Graves (1846 - 1931)

Jenny, I'm not jesting 
Language: English 
"Ah, Jenny, I'm not jesting,
Believe what I'm protesting,
And yield what I'm requesting
    These seven years through."
"Ah, Lawrence, I may grieve you;
Yet, if I can't relieve you,
Sure, why should I deceive you
    With words untrue?
But, since you must be courtin',
There's Rosy and her fortune,
'Tis rumoured you're consortin'
    With her of late.
Or there's your cousin Kitty,
So charming and so witty,
She'd wed you out of pity,
    Kind Kate."

"Fie! Jenny, since I knew you,
Of all the lads that woo you,
None's been so faithful to you,
    If truth were told: 
Even when yourself was dartin' 
Fond looks at fickle Martin,
Till off the thief went startin' 
    For Sheela's gold."
"And if you've known me longest,
Why should your love be strongest,
And his that's now the youngest,
    For that be worst?"
"Fire, Jenny, quickest kindled 
Is always soonest dwindled, 
And thread the swiftest spindled 
    Snaps first."

"If that's your wisdom, Larry,
The longer I can tarry,
The luckier I shall marry 
    At long, long last." 
"I've known of girls amusing
Their minds, the men refusing,
Till none were left for choosing
    At long, long last."
"Well, since it seems that marriage
Is still the safest carriage,
And all the world disparage
    The spinster lone;
Since you might still forsake me,
I think I'll let you take me,
Yes ! Larry, you may make me
    Your own!"

Note: Stanford abbreviates "Even" to "E'en" in line 5 of verse 2.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2011-05-16
Line count: 48
Word count: 235