Henry Livingston Jr. (1748-1828)
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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