Friday, 11 May 2018

The Dream Wife - Kajetan Węgierski

Strangely 'wildered must I seem;
I was married — in a dream.
Oh, the ecstasy of bliss!
Brother, what a joy is this!
Think about it, and confess
'Tis a storm of happiness.
And the memory is to me
Sunbeams. But fifteen was she:
Cheeks of roses red and white;
Mouth like Davia's; eyes of light,
Fiery, round, of raven hue.
Swimming, but coquettish too;
Ivory teeth; lips fresh as dew;
Bosom beauteous; hand of down;
Fairy foot She stood alone
In her graces. She was mine.
And I drank her charms divine.

Yet, in early years our schemes
Are, alas! but shadowy dreams.
For a season they deceive,
Then our souls in darkness leave.
Oft the bowl the water bears.
But 'tis useless soon with years;
First it cracks, and then it leaks.
And at last— at last it breaks.
All things with beginning tend
To their melanchoty end:
So her heauty fled.

Then did anger, care, and malice
Mingle up their bitter chalice
Riches like the whirlwind flew.
Honours, gifts, and friendships too;
And my lovely wife, so mild,
Fortune's frail and flattered child,
Spent our wealth, as if the day
Ne'er would dim or pass away;
And — oh, monstrous thought! — the fair
Scratched my eyes and tore my hair.
Naught but misery was our guest.
Then I sought the parish priest:
"Father, grant me a divorce.
Nay, you'll grant it me, of course;
Reasons many can be given —
Reasons both of earth and heaven"
"I know all you wish to say.
Have you wherewithal to pay?
Money is a thing, of course —
Money may obtain divorce."
"Reverend father, hear me, please ye —
'Tis not an affair so easy."
"Silence, child! Where money's needed,
Eloquence is superseded."
Then I talked of morals, but
The good father's ears were shut.
With a fierce and frowning look
Off he drove me — And I woke.

Kajetan Węgierski (1756 - 1787) Poland
Translator not noted
Source: The World's Wit and Humor. An Encyclopedia of the Classic Wit and Humor of all Ages and Nations. Volume XIV. Lionel Strachey, managing editor, The Review of Reviews Company, 1906

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