Oh why must Beauty play so coy and meek
While Man must strut and fret to win Her care?
O'er wretched seas of squall a man must seek
While Beauty need but wait; it isn't fair!
That men must sweat and toil away their peak
While Beauty by the mirror smooths her hair,
And marvels at the anxious train of youths
Who hot-foot to Her door in eager boots.
And is it just that Beauty takes a mate
More often cruel than kind, an ogre-king?
And tell me, is it but a twist of Fate
That kindly ladies will accept the ring
Of monied trolls long before the date
They'll hearken to the shy elf's offering
Of song and sweet exchanges in the night?
(And none the less a lover's appetite!)
Is it tradition? If so, let it be,
Be damned! Tradition's Passion-choking chain.
Its rule is hateful to the likes of me,
A bridle which debases and constrains
The soul of Beauty. Love by its decree
Is but a rite, a game, and so remains
A contest of display and acquisition,
Where lovers vie for status and position.
Unspoken and unwritten law thus states:
It is a crime to be a timid man,
And timid men do often meet their fates
Alone, impoverished, and with head in hand
Lamenting that they never found their mates
Since none would have them, for they were not men.
Yet, is it right that these should suffer for
The shyness which in Beauty none deplore?
No! I say. This heartless protocol
Awaits defying. Beauty, take your share
Of valor! Waken to the trumpet's call,
For striving Beauty is by far more fair
Than Beauty limp and lifeless as a doll.
It is a prize as regal and as rare
As any to be had by living man,
Emancipated Beauty's noble hand!
George Chadderdon © 1994