my beard would stroke, The while, with brimming glass, I spoke; "Each to his
taste! - but to my mind, Where in the country will you find, A maid, as my
dear Gretchen fair, Who with my sister can compare?" Cling! Clang! so rang
the jovial sound! Shouts of assent went circling round; Pride of her sex is she!
- cried some; Then were the noisy boasters dumb.
And now! - I could tear out my hair, Or dash my brains out in despair! Me
every scurvy knave may twit, With stinging jest and taunting sneer! Like
skulking debtor I must sit, And sweat each casual word to hear! And though I