I'm Not a Single Man

I.

Well , I confess, I did not guess
A simple marriage vow
Would make me find all women-kind
Such unkind women now!
They need not, sure, as distant be
As Java or Japan, —
Yet every Miss reminds me this —
I'm not a single man!

II.

Once they made choice of my bass voice
To share in each duet;
So well I danced, I somehow chanced
To stand in every set:
They now declare I cannot sing,
And dance on Bruin's plan;
Me draw — me paint! — me any thing! —
I'm not a single man!

III.

Once I was asked advice, and tasked
What works to buy or not,
And " would I read that passage out
I so admired in Scott? "
They then could bear to hear one read;
But if I now began,
How they would snub, " My pretty page, "
I'm not a single man!

IV.

One used to stitch a collar then,
Another hemmed a frill;
I had more purses netted then
Than I could hope to fill.
I once could get a button on,
But now I never can —
My buttons then were Bachelor's —
I'm not a single man!

V.

Oh how they hated politics
Thrust on me by papa:
But now my chat — they all leave that
To entertain mamma.
Mamma, who praises her own self,
Instead of Jane or Ann,
And lays " her girls " upon the shelf —
I'm not a single man!

VI.

Ah me, how strange it is the change,
In parlour and in hall,
They treat me so, if I but go
To make a morning call.
If they had hair in papers once,
Bolt up the stairs they ran;
They now sit still in dishabille —
I'm not a single man!

VII.

Miss Mary Bond was once so fond
Of Romans and of Greeks;
She daily sought my cabinet,
To study my antiques.
Well, now she doesn't care a dump
For ancient pot or pan,
Her taste at once is modernized —
I 'm not a single man!

VIII.

My spouse is fond of homely life,
And all that sort of thing;
I go to balls without my wife,
And never wear a ring:
And yet each Miss to whom I come,
As strange as Genghis Khan,
Knows by some sign, I can't divine —
I 'm not a single man!

IX.

Go where I will, I but intrude,
I 'm left in crowded rooms,
Like Zimmerman on Solitude,
Or Hervey at his Tombs.
From head to heel, they make me feel,
Of quite another clan;
Compelled to own, though left alone —
I 'm not a single man!

X.

Miss Towne the toast, though she can boast
A nose of Roman line,
Will turn up even that in scorn
Of compliments of mine:
She should have seen that I have been
Her sex's partisan,
And really married all I could —
I 'm not a single man!

XI.

'Tis hard to see how others fare,
Whilst I rejected stand, —
Will no one take my arm because
They cannot have my hand?
Miss Parry, that for some would go
A trip to Hindostan,
With me don't care to mount a stair —
I'm not a single man!

XII.

Some change, of course, should be in force,
But, surely, not so much —
There may be hands I may not squeeze,
But must I never touch? —
Must I forbear to hand a chair
And not pick up a fan?
But I have been myself picked up —
I'm not a single man!

XIII.

Others may hint a lady's tint
Is purest red and white —
May say her eyes are like the skies,
So very blue and bright, —
I must not say that she has eyes ,
Or if I so began,
I have my fears about my ears —
I'm not a single man!

XIV.

I must confess I did not guess
A simple marriage vow,
Would make me find all women-kind
Such unkind women now; —
I might be hashed to death, or smashed,
By Mr. Pickford's van,
Without, I fear, a single tear —
I'm not a single man!
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