The Ambassador’s Lament

An 18th Century Diplomat Regrets Marrying for Beauty

It matters not a jot
to my high and mighty mistress
if my harness is in tatters
if my brigandine is battered
if my burgonet is shattered
and the vines are on the turn

She oozes into damson shoes
and smoothes her blue chemises
as she chooses Chinese chintzes
for conservatory curtains…

I’m certain that it matters not
that I’m the one who winces
who must greet Walloons and Frenchies
and distinguished foreign Princes
dressed in un-pressed pantaloons!

She chatters with her Shih Tzus
while she slices up some quinces
then she sugars them like billy-o
and mutters that her hair is so
delightfully augmented
by these henna-laden rinses
which she orders through a most
convincing con-man from Rangoon

If I mention to my mistress
that my harness is so tattered
and my brigandine is battered
and my burgonet is dented
and the grapes are all fermented
and I couldn’t give a shit about
her gorgeous Chinese chintzes
and her Shih Tzus and her quinces
and the henna-laden rinses
but I stress that my success
depends on wooing all the Princes
which is difficult with creases
in your sodding pantaloons…

I mention this to her – my lady swoons!

Her reply:

My husband eats a lot
and is constantly complaining
that his harness is in tatters
or his brigandine is battered
or his burgonet is shattered
or the vines are on the turn

He does not like my damson shoes
he loathes my blue chemises
and my gorgeous Chinese chintzes
(he would rather have no curtains…)

My husband really eats a lot
and I’m the one who winces
when he greets Walloons and Frenchies
and those slender foreign Princes
lest he burst his pantaloons!

He dragged me from the city
to these horrible provinces
where I’m finding that the air is so
destructive to my hair and so
it needs to be augmented
by these henna laden rinses
which I order through a most
obliging young man from Rangoon

If I mention to my husband
that he couldn’t get much fatter
he goes crazy like a hatter
and it’s driving me demented
and this marriage is lamented
and the reason that I’m partial to
my gorgeous Chinese chintzes
– my Shih Tzus and my quinces
and my henna laden rinses
is I couldn’t give a shit
about his wooing all the Princes
while his stomach is increasing
in his sodding pantaloons

I’m married to the greatest of buffoons!



See this performed on Youtube