Anonymous, “Second Thoughts are Best”

ANONYMOUS

 “Second Thoughts are Best”

Sung by Mrs. WRIGHTEN at VAUXHALL.
Composed by Mr. Hook.

Come list to me, ye gay and free,
And ye whom cares molest,
War, Wine, and Love, but tend to prove,
That second Thoughts are best!
The Queen of Charms, the God of Arms,                                            5
Gay Bacchus and the rest,
When ask’d ne’er flounce, but all pronounce
That second Thoughts are best!

The jealous boy, if Daphne’s coy,
‘Gainst Cupid will protest;                                                              10
His nymph disdain, then think again;
For second Thoughts are best!
The fair-one too, unus’d to woo,
Drives Henry from her breast,
Then seeks the elf, makes love herself,                                               15
For second Thoughts are best!

And Mars, who doats on scarlet coats,
I’m sure will stand the test,
Nor frowns on her, who dares aver,
That second Thoughts are best!                                                        20
E’en Neptune too, our fleet in view,
Kept Gallia’s fleet in Brest,
They meant to fight, he put them right—
Their second Thoughts are best!

Again but mark the tippling spark,                                                          25
When feated as a guest,
At first resign his darling wine,
But second Thoughts are best!
And you, I see, will side with me,
Some, louder than the rest,                                                               30
Will cry, no more, and then encore,
But second Thoughts are best!

 NOTES:

 Subtitle Mrs. Wrighten Mary Ann Wrighten (1751-1796) English singer, actress, and composer in the eighteenth century (Wikipedia); Vauxhall Eighteenth-century London pleasure garden, located on the south bank of the River Thames, that hosted many forms of entertainment such as art, poetry and music (“Vauxhall Gardens” Wikipedia); Mr. Hook James Hook (1746-1827), English composer and organist who performed regularly at Vauxhall Gardens for forty-six years (Wikipedia).

 6 Bacchus The god of wine; “hence, wine, intoxicating liquor” (OED).

 9 Cupid God of love.

 17 Mars God of war.

 21 Neptune God of freshwater and the sea.

 22 Gallia’s fleet The French navy; Gaul is the ancient name for the region which today includes France, Belgium, and Luxenbourg.

25 Tippling Habitual alcohol use (OED).

Source: The Gentlemen’s Magazine (July, 1781) p. 334.

Edited by Fernando Mendoza


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