To My Cousin Mary, for Mending My Tobacco Pouch

My conscience has given me several twitches
For not having thanked my fair coz. for her stitches;
The pouch that contains the best part of my riches
She has made safe and sound by her excellent stitches;
And whenever I take it from waistcoat or breeches,
I enjoy my quid and admire the stitches.
She has sent me a note all in rhyme also, which is
Still more to be praised than these praise-worthy stitches.
I sometimes have seen " few and far between " stitches,
The stitchers of which should be thrown in the ditches,
For no one need care where such vile things he pitches,
And nothing's more vile than such stitchers and stitches;
Such stitchers were taught in a time scarce of switches,
Or they ne'er would have stitched such detestable stitches;
For this saying, I'm told, a sort of distich is
Among the most eminent teachers of stitches:
That experience proves " few and far between " switches
Will always produce " few and far between " stitches.
But my sweet cousin's skill so much me bewitches,
I must give her a sonnet in praise of her stitches:

Thy stitches are not " few and far between, "
As other stitches very often are,
And many things beside, as I have seen,
In this sad world where good things are so rare;
But they are even, neat, and close enough
My treasured sweets to hold in purest plight;
To keep tobacco safe, and even snuff,
And thus at once eyes, nose, and mouth delight.

They're like thy smiles, fair cousin, frequent, bright,
They're like the rows of pearl those smiles display;
They're like the fingers that did make them, white
And delicate, but not so long as they.


They're like thy smiles, fair cousin, frequent, bright,
And ever bringing pleasure in their train;
They're like thy teeth of pearl, and their pure white,
Like them, shall never know tobacco's stain.

Then let me view my stores, and all the while
Look on thy stitches, thinking on thy smile —
But ah! those smiles in distance far are hid,
But here the stitches are — and I will take a quid.
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