Rayner Taylor
(1747 - 1825)

What would you be at?
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From Taylor's "Collection of favorite songs and an overture", London, 1775.
Lyrics: Mr Tousey

Young Mira, the fairest of all the gay plain,
Neglected and laugh'd at the vows of each swain;
In vain they their passion, their truth, would protest;
At their suff'rings she laughed, of their love made a jest,
And, whatever they said, thus would answer them flat:
"Nay prithee, leave fooling, what would you be at?"

Philander, the pride of the village essay'd,
And boldly declared he would win the fair maid;
He talk'd of her beauty, her charms and her wit,
To which all mankind must undoubtedly submit,
Then whispered his love; but she answered him flat:
"What nonsense is this, sir, what would you be at?"

Yet at this not repuls'd, he his passion pursued,
For he found that the fair must with spirit be wooed;
He hinted at marriage, at Hymen's soft bands,
And begged that the priest might unite both their hands.
She altered her key from a sharp to a flat
And smiling said "Yes", nor asked "what he'd be at?"

Quite charmed with her frankness, her mien and her air,
Next morning to church he attended the fair;
Where Hymen united their hearts and their hands,
And joined them for life in connubial bands.
Her tongue keeps in tune not too sharp nor too flat
She always is kind, nor asks "what he'd be at?"