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Ella Wheeler Wilcox

(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)

To Marry Or Not To Marry?


A Girl’s Reverie

Mother says, ‘Be in no hurry,
Marriage oft means care and worry.’

Auntie says, with manner grave,
‘Wife is synonym for slave.’

Father asks, in tones commanding,
‘How does Bradstreet rate his standing? ’

Sister, crooning to her twins,
Sighs, ‘With marriage care begins.’

Grandma, near life’s closing days,
Murmurs, ‘Sweet are girlhood’s ways.’

Maud, twice widowed (‘sod and grass’)
Looks at me and moans ‘Alas! ’

They are six, and I am one,
Life for me has just begun.

They are older, calmer, wiser:
Age should aye be youth’s adviser.

They must know – and yet, dear me,
When in Harry’s eyes I see

All the world of love there burning –
On my six advisers turning,

I make an answer, ‘Oh, but Harry
Is not like most men who marry.’

‘Fate has offered me a prize,
Life with love means Paradise.’

‘Life without it is not worth
All the foolish joys of earth.’

So, in spite of all they say,
I shall name the wedding day.

Submitted: Monday, May 26, 2003

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