Why Be Coy When You Could Be Pregnant?
(after Andrew Marvell, “To His Coy Mistress”—The Coy Mistress replies.)
Since coyness is for you a crime,
A long hors d'oeuvre to main course, time,
Let me refute your weasel words
And point out to you how absurd
And typically male they are.
Hyperbole and wit are far
Removed from stark reality.
Get down to physicality
And all your metaphysics fails.
When, months from now, I'm asked “What ails
You, maid, and why so fat of late,”
Your moment's pleasure's sealed my fate
And you're applying wit and wiles
To get another wench with child,
And hope your threats of things to come
Persuade the poor fool to succumb.
Time's at your back. Well, lucky you.
For me he stretches out into
A future in which you are not.
A mewling infant in a cot
Is all I hear from hour to hour
When my quaint honour's lost its power.
The grave's a fine and private place,
The only home that I'll embrace
If I yield to your rhetoric
Or fall for your slick verbal tricks.
You threaten worms. Well, bring them on.
They don't shoot sperm and when they're gone
They leave no trace. My soul transpires,
You say, and glows with instant fires.
Well, I intend to keep it so.
There's nothing that removes a glow
So fast as single motherhood.
I'll stick with crafty maidenhood.
We're in the 1600s, Sir
Pre-pill, pre-condom. I demur
Therefore and, sadly, must decline
Your offer to seize hold of time.
While Carpe Diem's fine for you,
We women take the longer view.