Poem A Letter

The same book that has the poem A Wish also has this playful one "A Letter", no doubt from the same period and written for his wife to be.

My sister most dear
To my instructions give ear
Be sober, be best, be genuine, be true
With a decorum behave
Be cheerful, yet grave,
And give unto each the respect that is due.

Pray don't stay long
We want you at home.
A week or two more may suffice,
Your virtue reveal'd
Your frailty conceal'd
A word is enough to the wise.

If a sweet heart you meet
That is proper and fit
To look to a nearer Relation.
Don't quickly refuse
Be in no haste to choose
There are never enough in the nation.

May you snake such a choice
That your friend may rejoice
That Mr Boswell e'er had such a Daughter
From your only Brother
Till you have another
Ben Beddome Bourton-on-the-Water.

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