THE CRINOLINE

“A Whoop About Hoops” from an 1857 issue of Harper’s Weekly

For when a smitten wretch has seen

Among the lost in crinoline,

The one his heart holds dearer,

Oh! What a chill to ardent passion,

To feel that through this hollow fashion

He never can be nearer!

That instead of timidity drawing near,

And pouring into her thrilling ear

The flood of his soul’s devotion,

He must stand and bellow in thunder tones,

Across half an acre of skirts and bones,

As if hailing a ship on the ocean.