Recently in Marriage Category

Bethrothed by Zora Cross

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All in the green and golden weather
Young Love and I ran wild together
Happy horns were blowing blithe
Through the leaves and asses lithe,
And down the little dappled trees
Boy Summer shook his melodies.
Oh, the world was good and green,
And the wind blew white and clean.
With bee and bird alive with mirth
Because two sweethearts trod the earth,
Making all the morning sing
With their joyous triumphing.

All in the green and golden weather
Young Love and I knelt grave together
On the mossy rocks and grey,
In the girlhood of the day.
And underneath the magic sun
we pledged two little lives in one.
Oh, our hearts beat brave and high,
Looking upward to the sky.
And I was sure, and you were, too,
As kissing all our bodies through,
Sun and leaf and laughing air
Wed us to each other there.

First published in The Bulletin, 3 October 1918

Floral Offerings by C.J Dennis

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A Love Song

[A man at Sandringham (Vic.) was fined recently for throwing flower-pots at his wife.]

Do you remember, love, the years gone by,
   When, with full many a tender phrase and sweet,
You came a-wooing me with yearnful sigh,
   And fain would cast sweet blossoms at my feet?

For you were young, and I was young. Ah, me!
   And every blossom framed a tender thought,
And I was filled with bliss and maiden glee,
    For all those floral offerings you brought.

You vowed -- and, sweetheart, you have kept the vow --
   That, in the days the future held in store,
You'd strew my path with roses, then, as now,
   And fill my life with fragrance evermore.

Ay, sweetest, it is even as you said:
   That lover's vow has never been forgot;
You still throw blossoms, darling -- at my head,
   But, oh! dear heart, why leave them in the pot?  

First published
in The Gadfly, 30 October 1907

Loving But Leaving by C.J. Dennis

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(A Sob Song for Conscientious Crooners)

The Bureau of Domestic Relations has advanced a suggestion that defaulting husbands should be given preference in Government employment, enabling them to keep their families and take a burden off the State.

When I led you to the altar
   Vows were made, you'll call to mind
Darling wife.  Now a defaulter
   Must I seem if I'd be kind.
For you know how well I love you,
   How I've sought work far and near;
But to keep a roof above you
   I must now desert you, dear.

Because I love you I must leave you,
   Wife o' mine I cherish so;
Yet the parting should not grieve you
   When the whole mad tale you know.
Well you know I don't deceive you.
   Since the glad day we were wed
I have loved you; I must leave you
   If I'd gain our daily bread.

You will pardon the pretending
   When I figure in the courts,
Suits for maintenance defending,
   While, with fierce, indignant snorts
The worthy Bench a bitter potion
   Serves me with vile names that irk.
Yet you alone will know devotion
   Moves me.  For they'll give me work.

Because I love you I must leave you;
   Joining the absconding band,
That, at last I may relieve you
   By the labor of my hand.
If to keep you I seem laggard,
   Then my country will be kind.
Sweetheart of a brutal blackguard,
   Kiss me.  I know you'll understand.

First published in The Herald, 10 September 1934

The Fate of a Harpist by C.J Dennis

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In a recent court case the male defendant asked the Bench to consider, as man to man, the limits to the patience of the most tolerant husband, in certain circumstances.

There is women, yer Worship, of various kinds:
   An' some of 'em's fluffy a' foolish,
An' some is sispicious an' mean in their minds,
   An' others fair set-like an' mulish.
There is some, as I owns, is real kind -- tho' not many,
   As maybe yer Worship 'as coped with -- if any.

But wot can you do with a woman wot 'arps?
   I am arskin' the Bench, as a man an' a male --
Wot sticks to 'er subjeck an' cavils an' carps,
Wot won't be put orf it, but 'ammers an' 'arps
   Till you rock like a ship in a gale.
I'm a plain, placid man, an' me patience is vast;
But the patience of angels gits wobbly at last.

For she 'arps on me 'abits, she 'arps in me ears,
   She 'arps on me cricket an' listenin' in;
She 'arps an' she 'arps, till I'm full of strange fears;
   For I knows there's no end once I 'ear 'er begin.
So, am I to be blamed if I rise in me passion
   An' seek for to send 'er where 'arpin's the fashion?

For wot can you do with a woman wot 'arps?
   I slung 'er bokays while me 'anger was 'ot.
I was full to the teeth of 'er flats an' 'er sharps;
So I slung 'er bokays, while she 'ammers an' 'arps
   (An' them flowers was still in the pot.)
Well, I needn't say more; for she's told all the rest.
But I craves yer man' mercy; an' 'opes for the best.

First published in The Herald, 23 August 1934

Inured by C.J. Dennis

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A London cablegram says that the danger period of matrimony is 12 years after the wedding.

Young man about to marry,
   Don't hesitate, I pray;
No need for you to tarry
   If you can only stay.

So let it be your prayer
   That you can see it out;
For, if you are a stayer
   You'll win to bliss, no doubt.

Tho' she may nag and scold you,
   And drive you mad at first,
Let this bright thought uphold you;
   The first twelve years are worst.

First published in The Sun-News Pictorial, 3 May 1927

"For Richer, For Poorer" by C.J. Dennis

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"A wife is entitled to share her husband's riches, but, if he is poor, she must also share his poverty," said a judge in divorce in Sydney last week.

When the world is kind and life is gay,
And boon companion drift your way,
   When cash is plenty in the bank
   And a man can spend, a wife can swank
With frills and frocks and a streamlined car,
Gay parties and a cocktail bar;
   When the kids are sent to a high-class school
   And friends flock 'round to play the fool
With easy cash at golf and bridge,
And the wolf's afar o'er the mountain ridge;
   When a pound note looks like half-a-crown
   And a smile comes readier than a frown --

You can keep on loving, keep on living,
Keep on spending, keep on giving,
   Keep on drifting with the flow --
   Easy come and easy go.
Oh, it's simple lightly to vow,
While Fortune's smiling at the prow.

But when that pleasant season stops,
And the wolf sits down and licks his chops
   Outside the door; when the car is gone
   Because the payments don't keep on;
When the wife can't have her costly "perm"
Or get her frocks from the same "posh" Firm;
   When the cocktail bar's of no more use
   And the mortgage interest is the deuce;
When the kids must shift to a cheaper school
And lifelong friendships tend to cool
   As, one by one, friends let you down,
   And a sixpence looks like half-a-crown --

Can you keep on loving, keep on living,
Scared of spending, done with giving,
   Keep on battling 'gainst the fret --
   Hard to hold and hard to get?
Oh, it's then the day to test the vow,
When life is sinking in the slough.

First published in The Herald, 5 April 1937

The Sentimental Bloke and the Pilot Cove by C.J. Dennis

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"Young friend," 'e sez ... Young friend! Well, spare me days!
   Yeh'd think I wus 'is own white 'eaded boy --
The queer ole finger, wiv 'is gentle ways.
   "Young friend," 'e sez, "I wish't yeh bofe great joy."
   The langwidge that them parson blokes imploy
Fair tickles me.  The way 'e bleats an' brays!
      "Young friend," 'e sez.
"Young friend," 'e sez ... Yes, my Doreen an' me
   We're gettin' hitched, all straight an' on the square.
Fer when I torks about the registry --
   O 'oly wars! yeh should 'a' seen 'er stare;
   "The registry?" she sez, "I wouldn't dare!
I know a clergyman we'll go an' see ... 
      "Young friend," 'e sez.
"Young friend," 'e sez. An' then 'e chats me straight;
   An' spouts o' death, an' 'ell, an' mortal sins.
"You reckernize this step you contemplate
   Is grave?" 'e sez. An' I jist stan's an' grins;
   Fer when I chips, Doreen she kicks me shins.
"Yes, very 'oly is the married state,
      Young friend," 'e sez.
"Young friend," 'e sez.  An' then 'e mags a lot
   Of jooty an' the spitichuil life,
To which I didn't tumble worth a jot.
   "I'm sure," 'e sez, "as you will 'ave a wife
   'Oo'll 'ave a noble infl'ince on yer life.
'Oo is 'er gardjin?" I sez, "'Er ole pot" --
      "Young friend!" 'e sez.
"Young friend," 'e sez.  "Oh fix yet thorts on 'igh!
   Orl marridges is registered up there!
An' you must cleave unto 'er till yeh die,
   An' cherish 'er wiv love an' tender care.
   E'en in the days when she's no longer fair
She's still yet wife," 'e sez.  "Ribuck," sez I.
      "Young friend!" 'e sez.
"Young friend," 'e sez -- I sez, "Now, listen 'ere:
   This isn't one o' them impetchus leaps.
There ain't no tart a 'undreth part so dear
   As 'er.  She 'as me 'eart and' soul fer keeps!"
   An' then Doreen, she turns away an' weeps;
But 'e jist smiles.  "Yer deep in love, 'tis clear
      Young friend," 'e sez.
"Young friend," 'e sez -- an tears wus in 'is eyes --
   "Strive 'ard.  Fer many, many years I've lived.
An' I kin but recall wiv tears an' sighs
   The lives of some I've seen in marridge gived."
   "My Gawd!" I sez.  "I'll strive as no bloke strivved!
Fer don't I know I've copped a bonzer prize?"
      "Young friend," 'e sez.
"Young friend," 'e sez. An' in 'is gentle way,
   'E pats the shoulder of my dear Doreen.
"I've solem'ized grand weddin's in me day,
   But 'ere's the sweetest little maid I've seen.
   She's fit fer any man, to be 'is queen;
An' you're more forchinit than you kin say,
      Young friend," 'e sez.
"Young friend," 'e sez ... A queer ole pilot bloke,
   Wiv silver 'air.  The gentle way 'e dealt
Wiv 'er, the soft an' kindly way 'e spoke
   To my Doreen, 'ud make a starcher melt.
   I tell yer, square an' all, I sorter felt
A kiddish kind o' feelin' like I'd choke ...
      "Young friend," 'e sez.
"Young friend," 'e sez, "you two on Choosday week,
   Is to be joined in very 'oly bonds.
To break them vows I 'opes yeh'll never seek;
   Fer I could curse them 'usbands 'oo absconds!"
   "I'll love 'er till I snuff it," I responds.
"Ah, that's the way I likes to 'ear yeh speak,
      Young friend," 'e sez.
"Young friend," 'e sez -- and then me 'and 'e grips --
   "I wish't yeh luck, you an' yer lady fair.
Sweet maid." An' sof'ly wiv 'is finger-tips,
   'E takes and' strokes me cliner's shinin' 'air.
   An' when I seen 'er standin' blushin' there,
I turns an' kisses 'er, fair on the lips.
      "Young friend!" 'e sez.  

First published in The Bulletin, 26 March 1914;
and later in
The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke by C.J. Dennis, 1914.

Note: this poem is also known by the title Pilot Cove.

Quantum Sufficit by C.J. Dennis

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A cable states that the German Nazi leaders are educating the nation to accept the idea of "extra wives."

"I only said this German plan
Had points," remarked the small, meek man.
   "I merely said an extra wife
   Might add variety to life.
Strange how a woman will resent
A hypothetic argument.
   I didn't mean my reference
   As personal, in any sense,
But she -- aw, why talk, anyhow?
         Look at me now!

"This eye.  These bumps, here, on my head.
This battered face.  I only said
   The Germans seemed to be a race
   Who had sane views of woman's place.
Who knew her value.  As I spoke
I smiled, to show it was a joke,
   A merry quip.  Have they no sense
   Of humor?  Are they all as dense
As she?  Will none of them allow --
         Look at me now!

"I only said that in the end
This German movement might extend
   To other lands.  I mean to say,
   I never meant it in the way
She took the words.  It isn't fair!
Jam on my clothes!  Egg in my hair!
   (Who'd think that she could aim so straight?)
   Those Teuton fools are tempting fate
To dream of more than one strong frau.
         Look at me now!

"At breakfast time it all began,
Like that," explained the small, meek man.
   "Look at me now!  These Nazis might
   Perceive a portent in my plight --
My humor scorned; egg in my hair --
If they could see her standing there,
   A vengeful fury, angry-eyed,
   Ere they would wish her multiplied
They'd think again, however tough.
         One is enough."

First published in The Herald, 10 March 1937;
and later in
Random Verse edited by Margaret Herron, 1952.

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