Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MY WIFE'S COUSIN, SELECTION, by WILLIAM EDMONSTOUNE AYTOUN



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MY WIFE'S COUSIN, SELECTION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Mary, wife, where art thou, dearest?
Last Line: With the self-same curly hair.
Alternate Author Name(s): Bon Gaultier (with Theodore Martin)


... "Mary, wife, where art thou, dearest?"
Thus I cry, while yet afar;
Ah, what scent invades my nostrils?—
'Tis the smoke of a cigar!
Instantly into the parlour
Like a maniac I haste,
And I find a young Life-Guardsman
With his arm round Mary's waist.

... "Fires and furies! what the blazes?"
Thus in frenzied wrath I call;
When my spouse her arm upraises
With a most astounding squall.

"Was there ever such a monster?
Ever such a wretched wife?
Oh! how long must I endure it,
How protract this hateful life?
All day long quite unprotected,
Does he leave his wife at home;
And she cannot see her cousins,
Even when they kindly come!"

... In fear I faintly falter
"This your cousin?—Then he's mine!
Very glad, indeed, to see you.—
Won't you stop with us and dine?"

Won't a ferret suck a rabbit?
As a thing of course he stops
And with most voracious swallow
Walks into my mutton chops.
In the twinkling of a bed-post
Is each savory platter clear,
And he shows uncommon science
In his estimate of beer.

Half and half goes down before him,
Gurgling from the pewter-pot;
And he moves a counter motion
For a glass of something hot.
Neither chops nor beer I grudge him,
Nor a moderate share of goes;
But I know not why he's always
Treading upon Mary's toes.

Evermore when home returning.
From the counting-house I come,
Do I find the young Life-Guardsman
Smoking pipes and drinking rum.

Yet I know he's Mary's cousin
For my only son and heir
Much resembles that young Guardsman
With the self-same curly hair.





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