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Poem by Henry Livingston
With the ladies’ permission, most humbly I’d mention How much we’re obliged by all their attention; We sink with the weight of the huge obligation Too long & too broad to admit compensation. For us (and I blush while I speak I declare) The charming enchanters be-torture their hair Till gently it rises and swells like a knoll Thirty inches at least from the dear little poll; From the tip-top of which all peer out together The ribband, the gause & the ostrich’s feather; Composing a sight for an Arab to swear at Or huge Patagonian a fortnight to stare at. Then hoops at right angles that hang from ye knees And hoops at the hips in connection with these Set the fellows’s presumptuous who court an alliance And ev’ry pretender at awful defiance. And I have been told (though I must disbelieve For the tidings as fact I would never receive) That billets of cork have supplied the place Of something the Fair-ones imagine a grace; But whether ’tis placed behind or before, The shoulders to swell or the bosom to shoar, To raise a false wen or expand a false bump Project a false hip or protrude a false rump, Was never ascertain’d, and fegs I declare To make more enquiry I never will dare.
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