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A sturdy fellow, with a sunburnt face,
And thews and sinews of a giant mould;
A genial mind, that harboured nothing base,—
A pocket void of gold.
The rival’s years were fifty at the least—
Withered his skin, and wrinkled as a crone;
But day by day his worldly goods increased,
Till great his wealth had grown.
And she, the lady of this simple tale,
Was tall and straight, and beautiful to view;
Even a poet’s burning words would fail
To paint her roseate hue.
The suitors came, the old one and the young,
Each with fond words her fancy to allure.
For which of them should marriage bells be rung,
The rich one or the poor?
She liked the young one with his winning ways,
He seemed designed to be her future mate—
Besides, in novels and romantic plays
Love has a youthful gait.
But well she knew that poverty was hard,
And humble household cares not meant for her;
Nor cared she what the sentimental bard
Might warble or infer.
She made her choice, the wedding bells rang clear;
The aged bridegroom figured in the Times.
The young man, after some superfluous beer,
Went forth to foreign climes.
And this is all I ever chanced to know,
Told by my mate while digging on the Creek,
Who ended with his handsome face aglow,
And with a verse in Greek.
Arthur Patchett Martin