An Essay on Women


All men desire to show abroad their fame.
To win renown and honor for their name.
They fight, they lead, they conquer in the fray,
and in their minds unnumbered dragons slay.
To bear with hardship, pain, or lack of food
is to the fire of their minds like wood.
But one remains who men can never kill,
who bends the power of their iron will,
who puts to flight their nob’lest efforts brave,
and makes the mightiest warrior her slave.
This enemy with hair and sparkling eyes,
makes warriors’ faces blush in red-hued dyes;
can tear the tough and manly heart apart
by simple practice of her female art.
Many a man has claimed to be immune,
but then ere long he sang a diff’rent tune.
To see and not go crashing into walls,
a man must look when walking down the halls.
And what if he should then perchance to sight
his hated enemy—a female sprite—
who greets him, laughs, and talks to him a while
engraving on his mind her shining smile.
Careless that she has wrecked his ordered life
and plunged his peaceful mind into a strife
she walks away! She acts like nothing’s new
she who has warped and twisted up his view.
“Tis all unfair, unfair tis foul!” he cries
but might as well hurl curses at the skies.
For now he’s finished, and the fates have planned
(and their decrees hold sway throughout the land)
to make this man that girl’s admiring slave
the one who called all lovers “fool” and “knave”.
Too late for friends to tie him to the mast
until he’s safely through the sirens past,
he sits and dreams of seeing her once more,
and other pleasures now seem such a bore.
His friends find time to laugh at him and tease.
They take delight in mocking his disease.
He doesn’t care, but asks her on a date,
for he divines his partners’ truest state,
and knows (beneath the laughs and all the smirks)
the Grendillian monster, Envy, lurks.
For all men know (though many will not say)
they would rejoice to be ensnared this way.

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