A Fool to His Folly
Metté, coy and careless made
By admiring glances, paid
In too plentiful a fashion,
Pretty Folly, have compassion!
Have compassion on poor Youth,
Apt to pluck a dainty fruit —
Apt to leave his soul in hell,
Seeking out the heav’n you sell!
If thou knowest at nineteen
All the charms that come between
Best and worst in man, why, then
Thou art far too wise for men.
Ankles neatly turned as thine
Make me think of some divine
Inspiration locked in stone
By a Greek in ages gone.
And thy frock is short, I fear;
Dainty limbs below, my dear,
Plainly tell thy form would prove
Such as lapped the gods in love.
Small and shapely I declare
Hand and foot of thine; for hair
(Thus at least to me it seems)
Thou hast borrowèd sunbeams.
Metté, thou hast eyes that look
Stolen from a summer brook —
Dancing, laughing, deep, and gay,
Made for nothing more than play.
Features fairer than thine own
Never yet have decked a throne;
Thy red lips were made for kisses,
Bundle of dear lover’s blisses!
Metté, dost thou bring but ill?
Even so, I’ll love thee still —
Who with monkish frown would meet
Folly made so dainty sweet?
William Blocksidge, Songs o’ the South, London: Watts, 1908, pp. 8-9
art = (archaic) are
dost = (archaic) do
gay = happy, joyous, carefree (may also mean well-decorated, bright, attractive) (in modern times it may especially refer to a homosexual, especially a male homosexual; may also refer to something which is no good, pathetic, useless)
hast = (archaic) have
heav’n = (vernacular) heaven
knowest = (archaic) know
Metté = a female given name of Scandinavian origin, a diminutive form of “Margaret” (via the Old Danish “Merete”, from “Margarete”)
See: 1) “Mette”, Behind the Name
2) “Mette”, Nordic Names
3) “Margaret”, Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources
4) “Mette”, Wikipedia
monkish = of, or relating to, a monk; acting like, or characteristic of, a monk (e.g. leading a life of spirituality, of self-imposed solitude, or of self-denial); having an appearance resembling that of a monk
thee = (archaic) you
thine = (archaic) your; yours
thou = (archaic) you
thy = (archaic) your