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William Schwenck Gilbert (Уильям Швенк Гильберт)


Her Terms


My wedded life
Must every pleasure bring
On scale extensive!
If I'm your wife
I must have everything
That's most expensive -
A lady's-maid -
(My hair alone to do
I am not able) -
And I'm afraid
I've been accustomed to
A first-rate table.
These things one must consider when one marries -
And everything I wear must come from Paris!
Oh, think of that!
Oh, think of that!
I can't wear anything that's not from Paris!
From top to toes
Quite Frenchified I am,
If you examine.
And then - who knows? -
Perhaps some day a fam -
Perhaps a famine!
My argument's correct, if you examine,
What should we do, if there should come a f-famine!

Though in green pea
Yourself you needn't stint
In July sunny,
In Januaree
It really costs a mint -
A mint of money!
No lamb for us -
House lamb at Christmas sells
At prices handsome:
Asparagus,
In winter, parallels
A Monarch's ransom:
When purse to bread and butter barely reaches,
What is your wife to do for hot-house peaches?
Ah! tell me that!
Ah! tell me that!
What IS your wife to do for hot-house peaches?
Your heart and hand
Though at my feet you lay,
All others scorning!
As matters stand,
There's nothing now to say
Except - good morning!
Though virtue be a husband's best adorning,
That won't pay rates and taxes - so, good morning! 



William Schwenck Gilbert's other poems:
  1. The Played-Out Humorist
  2. The Working Monarch
  3. Babette's Love
  4. Girl Graduates
  5. To Phoebe


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