Friday, October 12, 2012


A Zealous Friend of Matrimony

James Hurnard (1808-1881), The Setting Sun, 3rd ed. (London: Saml. Harris & Co., 1878), pp. 71-72:
Although I am a crusty bachelor,
I am a zealous friend of matrimony;
If I should ever be the king of England
I will lay down some very spanking laws;—
Every young man of the age of five-and-twenty
Shall have a loving wife to comfort him,
And every girl who wishes for a husband
Shall have a manly breast to lay her head on.
  'Tis sweet for loving hearts to come together!
The pleasant lottery of matrimony
Is not like other doubtful lotteries,
For here the law of chances is reversed,
The blanks are few, the prizes plentiful.
Women are not like heartless birds of passage
That share with us the summer of our joy,
But leave us in the winter of our sorrow;
They are the robins that cling round our homes.
Marriage is oft delayed by far too long;
We lose our prime in waiting to be blest;
Youth is the special time for happiness;
Neglected, only gleaning ears are left,
Instead of the full harvest of enjoyment.
We want some easier way of getting married—
Promoting marriage in a business manner.
How many sweet, retiring, modest girls,
With bosoms bursting for connubial joys,
Pass on through life in wasting loneliness,
Unknown, unheeded, unappreciated,
Unintroduced to honourable hearts
That might have loved them and have wedded them,
And thus are left in sadness to consume!

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