I AM always inclined to suspect The best story under the sun As soon as by chance I detect That teller and hero are one.
We're all of us prone to conceit, And like to proclaim our own glory, But our purpose we're apt to defeat As actors in chief of our story.
To prove the truth of what I state Let me an anecdote relate: A Gascon with his comrade sat At tavern drinking. This and that He vaunted with assertion pat. From gasconade to gasconade Passed to the conquests he had made In love. A buxom country maid, Who served the wine, with due attention Lent patient ear to each invention, And pressed her hands against her side Her bursting merriment to hide. To hear our Gascon talk, no Sue Nor Poll in town but that he knew; With each he'd passed a blissful night More to their own than his delight. This one he loved for she was fair, That for her glossy ebon hair. One miss, to tame his cruel rigour, Had brought him gifts.--She owned his vigour In short it wanted but his gaze To set each trembling heart ablaze. His strength surpassed his luck,--the test-- In one short night ten times he'd blessed A dame who gratefully expressed Her thanks with corresponding zest. At this the maid burst forth, "What more? "I never heard such lies before! "Content were I if at that sport "I had what that poor dame was short."