Ode to a lovely neighbor
Neighbor, I love you. ‘Tis my duty, you see;
Just as it’s your duty to love me.
I read it plainly in the holy writ:
To love one’s neighbor is the chiefest bit.
So let’s be friends, since lovers we must be,
And honor this great precept willingly.
For, ’tis truth, you look so fair to me,
I would rejoice to love you thoroughly.
But hold! I sense a buzzing in my ear,
A note of discord to this strain I hear.
They say it is holy and godly
to love you in spirit and heart and mind,
But to love you in body is sin
of the very worst kind.
That is, I can love you all the livelong day,
So long as I do it from far away.
I can wish you well and do you good and honor your name,
As long as on your flesh I make no claim.
And you, of course, can do the same for me,
So long as from love’s pleasures we are free.
So I guess we can truly rejoice
At the commandment’s voice,
But how carefully we must obey
Lest the other neighbors think
We’ve gone astray.