The Lady’s Yes

“YES!” I answered you last night:
“No!” this morning, sir, I say.
Colors seen by candle-light
Will not look the same by day.

When the tabors played their best,
Lamps above, and laughs below,
Love me sounded like a jest,
Fit for Yes, or fit for No!

Call me false; or call me free;
Vow, whatever light may shine,
No man on thy face shall see
Any grief for change on mine.

Yet the sin is on us both:
Time to dance is not to woo;
Wooer light makes fickle troth,
Scorn of me recoils on you.

Learn to win a lady’s faith
Nobly as the thing is high,
Bravely as for life and death,
With a loyal gravity.

Lead her from the festive boards;
Point her to the starry skies;
Guard her by your faithful words,
Pure from courtship’s flatteries.

By your truth she shall be true,
Ever true, as wives of yore,
And her Yes, once said to you,
Shall be Yes for evermore.