If you’re conversing with a lady
And courtship is your quest
And the topic of intentions is muted
Be careful of what you suggest.
And if it then arises
That her age – is by you to be guessed
No matter how dainty her tone
Remember it’s really a test.
So here is my advice – well reasoned
The thing that you should say –
Start with the figure most likely (like-lay)
Then five years take away.
To be safe then subtract yet another –
Year or two or three
She may then accuse you – of trying
To seduce her by mere flattery.
But the result – I assure you –
The far better outcome it will be
Than mindlessly blurting out
The age that you think you see.