To all my fond rhapsodies, Charley,
You have wearily listened, I fear;
As yet not an answer you’ve given
Save a shrug, or an ill-concealed sneer;
Pray, why, when I talk of my marriage,
Do you watch me with sorrowing eye?
’Tis you, hapless bachelor, Charley,
That are to be pitied—not I!
You mockingly ask me to tell you,
Since to bondage I soon must be sold,
Have I wisely chosen my fetters,
Which, at least, should be forged of pure gold.
Hem! the sole wealth my love possesses
Are her tresses of bright golden hair,
Pearly teeth, lips of rosiest coral,
Eyes I know not with what to compare.
Don’t talk about all I surrender—
My club, champagne dinners, cigars,
My hand at écarté, my harmless
Flirtations with Opera “stars.”
Think of the pleasant home, Charley—
Home! I utter the word with just pride—
Its music, soft lights, countless comforts,
Over which she will smiling preside.
And picture in fancy the welcome
That will greet my arrival each night!
How she’ll help me to take off my wrappings
With her dear little fingers so white;
The sweet silvery voice that will utter
The airiest nothings with grace,
The smiles that will dimple all over
That loving and lovely young face.
If sickness should ever o’ertake me,
O! just think how cherished I’ll be—
What loving cares, gentle caresses,
Shall be showered on fortunate me;
While you in some lone, gloomy attic,
To dull death posting off at quick pace,
Will encounter no tokens of pity
Save the smirk on some pert waiter’s face.
And who, perhaps, twelve hours after,
Bringing up your weak tea and dry toast,
Will look in, find you “gone,” and drawl forth,
“Number ten has just given up the ghost.”
Then, Charley, to good counsel listen,
Brave not an old bachelor’s fate,
But, doing as I’ve done, go marry
A loving and loveable mate.