When Stretched on One's Bed
WHEN STRETCHED ON ONE'S BED
When stretched on one's bed
With a fierce-throbbing head
Which precludes alike thought or repose,
How little one cares
For the grandest affairs
That might busy the world as it goes.
How little one feels
For the waltzes and reels
Of our dance-loving friends at the Ball
How slight one's concern
To conjecture or learn
What their flounces or hearts might befall.
How little one minds
If a company dines
On the best that the season affords !
How short is one's muse
O'er the Sauces and Stews
Or the Guests, be they Beggars or Lords.
How little the Bells
Ring they Peels, toll they Knells,
Can attract out attention or Ears !
The Bride may be married,
The Corpse may be carried,
And touch nor our hopes nor our fears.
Our own bodily pains
Ev'ry faculty chains ;
We can feel on no subject beside.
Tis in health and in ease
We the power must seize,
For our friends and our souls to provide.
JANE AUSTEN (1775 - 1817)