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Full Online Book HomePoemsNothing To Eat - He Discourseth of the Wherefore of Bachelorism
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Nothing To Eat - He Discourseth of the Wherefore of Bachelorism Post by :Laurence_Baker Category :Poems Author :Horatio Alger Date :May 2012 Read :1808

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Nothing To Eat - He Discourseth of the Wherefore of Bachelorism

"What else do we live for in this world beside?"

Alas! 't is the question of ten times a day,
That comes on the wind, or that floats on the tide,
And creeps in the houses where men go to pray.

What else do we live for than get such a wife
As this of the banker of our faint description?

What else is the end of our fashionable life
From which men escape as they would from conscription?

What else is the reason so few natives marry,
Than this, that extravagance leads on to ruin?

It is because few men are able to carry
The load of this baking and roasting and stewing,
Of buying and wasting extravagant meat,
Where women are dying of "nothing to eat;"
Where men in corruption so rapidly tending,
In morals and wealth in bankruptcy ending.

That forging and stealing and breaches of trust,
And ten thousand arts of the confidence game,
And follies uncounted of men "on a bust,"
Are follies and crimes of this age to our shame,
Till angels who witness the folly so wide
Extended from palace to farm-house and cot,
Might wonder if mortals life's objects forgot,
Or Merdle's position is man's common lot?

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"What else do they live for in this world beside?"What else but for Kittys or one of the same,Do mothers their daughters at schools give the touchThat leaves them to live as a wife but in nameWhile position and fashion they frantically clutch.What else do they live for, our girls so refined,So forward, precocious, and gifted at tenThey are flirting and courting and things of the kind,That never came under our grandmother's ken.At fifteen so dressed up, and hooped up, I ween,They're mothers full often before they're sixteen,And fading and dowdy and sickly at twenty,With one boy in trowsers and two
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Oh! Kitty Malone--Mrs. Merdle 'tis now--Was there ever on earth than this, greater folly?Still gorging, while groaning, and swearing a vow,That yours is a case of most sad melancholy.With table that Croesus never had but might covet,You live but to eat and to eat 'cause you love it;And yet while you swallow great sirloins of meatComplain like a beggar of nothing to eat.
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