Her Reply (Updated)


Sir Walter Raleigh, The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd

If we lived in decades past
When marriages were built to last
I might be tempted to tilt your glass
And be your little lovely lass

When I was young my mother told me
That a man is good to hold me
But I must never bought and sold be
Thus no man has yet controlled me

She said a girl must make her way
In this crazy world today
And if I always let you pay
I’ll be tormented should you stray

I do not fit your portrait, sir
Neither rubies nor your fur
Will set my little heart astir
Or make my body coo and purr

You confirmed just what your heart meant
When you offered an apartment
And a closet full of garment
As though my life were some department

Of an edifice you dreamed
Without once consulting me
I can’t live your reality
I shan’t subsume identity

by Richard W. Bray

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