My aunt! my dear unmarried aunt!
Long years have oââ?¬â?¢er her flown;
Yet still she strains the aching clasp
That binds her virgin zone;
I know it hurts her,ââ?¬â?à?­though she looks
As cheerful as she can;
Her waist is ampler than her life,
For life is but a span.

My aunt! my poor deluded aunt!
Her hair is almost gray;
Why will she train that winter curl
In such a spring-like way?
How can she lay her glasses down,
And say she reads as well,
When through a double convex lens
She just makes out to spell?

Her fatherââ?¬â?à?­grandpapa I forgive
This erring lip its smilesââ?¬â?à?­
Vowed she should make the finest girl
Within a hundred miles;
He sent her to a stylish school;
ââ?¬â?¢T was in her thirteenth June;
And with her, as the rules required,
ââ?¬Å?Two towels and a spoon.ââ?¬Â

They braced my aunt against a board,
To make her straight and tall;
They laced her up, they starved her down,
To make her light and small;
They pinched her feet, they singed her hair,
They screwed it up with pins;ââ?¬â?à?­
Oh never mortal suffered more
In penance for her sins.

So, when my precious aunt was done,
My grandsire brought her back;
(By daylight, lest some rabid youth
Might follow on the track
ââ?¬Å?Ah!ââ?¬Â said my grandsire, as he shook
Some powder in his pan,
ââ?¬Å?What could this lovely creature do
Against a desperate man!ââ?¬Â

Alas! nor chariot, nor barouche,
Nor bandit cavalcade,
Tore from the trembling fatherââ?¬â?¢s arms
His all-accomplished maid.
For her how happy had it been
And Heaven had spared to me
To see one sad, ungathered rose
On my ancestral tree.