A Truth Universally Acknowledged
She minded her p’s more than her q’s, Jane Austen,
A piercing pen, pride, prejudice, polished irony,
A perfect punctuated life, politeness, puntiliousness
No awkward questions or quibbles about the universe
Just Mr Bennett was cynical, D’Arcy a snob
And poor Miss Bates talked too much, nothing worse.
But we’re all like that, that’s why we like her
She our sort of girl, she takes us off just pat,
We don’t want reminding of beasts and monsters
Hungrily howling and prowling the surrounding dark,
As we sit huddled warm round the campfire
Reading Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park.
We don’t want deep anguishes about existence
But polite quadrille, formal manners and glittering ball,
Spiced, perhaps, with Elizabeth’s mild struggles
With conscience, before marrying Pemberley after all.
Oh Saint Jane, patron of little things and small causes
Save us from the raging beasts roaring in the darknesses.