In this poem, a Band, Bob-Wig, and Feather plead with a Woman for her attention. Spoiler alert: The feather wins.
The last to argue often wins.
A Band, a Bob-wig, and a Feather
Attacked a lady’s heart together.
The Band, in a most learned plea,
Made up of deep philosophy,
Told her, if she would please to espouse
A reverend beard, and take, instead
Of vigorous youth,
Old solemn Truth,
With books and morals to her house,
How happy she would be!
The Bob, he talked of management,
What wondrous blessings Heaven sent
On care, and pains, and industry;
And truly he must be so free
To own he thought your airy beaux,
With powdered heads and dancing-shoes,
Were good for nothing (mend his soul!)
But prate, and talk, and play the fool.
He said ’twas wealth gave joy and mirth,
And that to be the dearest wife
Of one who laboured all his life
To make a mine of gold his own,
And not spend sixpence when he had done,
Was heaven upon earth.
When these two blades had done, d’ye see?
The Feather (as it might be me)
Steps out, sir, from behind the screen,
With such an air and such a mien,
Look you, old gentleman, in short,
He quickly spoiled the tradesman’s sport.
It proved such prosperous weather,
That you must know, at the first beck,
The lady leaped about his neck
And off they went together.
[Note: At least one book attributes this poem to Sir John Vanbrugh instead of Aesop; though it’s mostly found in Aesop collections.]
[Note: Band, Bob-Wig, and Feather are references to parts of women’s attire and make-up, used here to represent various types of suitors.]