by Francis S. Saltus
BESIDE my cheerful fire to dream
This evening I have tarried;
To think again, in bliss supreme,
Of all the girls I married.
Of late my memory is not sound,
And greater is the pity,
For I most heartlessly confound
Belinda, Jane, and Kitty.
As for the name of my first wife,
Who took my boyish fancy,
I cannot tell, upon my life,
If it was Lu or Nancy.
And I undoubtedly forget
The lineaments of Aggie;
I rather think she was brunette—
No,—that was little Maggie.
My precious list is here to tell,
Longer than Don Giovanni’s—
That’s right; eight Sues, one Isabel,
Twelve Kates, and sixteen Annies.
The Don with me could never vie,
A harder share I carried;
He only loved his girls, while I
Was always fairly married!
There’s May, of whom I was so fond,
And there was jolly Dora—
Now let me see ; was she a blonde?
No, that was Leonora.
I heard they died; of Mary Janes,
I’ve had about a dozen;
Three Wilhelminas, four Elaines,
And one of them my cousin.
But I must cease this talk to-day,
These lists my mind have fuddled.
About my spouses, I must say,
I am completely muddled.
Bachelor life I do not find
So very hard and dreary,
And, of this search for womankind,
I’m really getting weary.
‘Tis time to cease this life of snares,
Both criminal and vicious;
Bah!—I forgot those girls up stairs!
The youngest is delicious!
Editors note: Francis Saltus Saltus (1849-1889) was a poet and musician. Fluent in 10 languages, the ambidextrous Francis was reputed to be able to write sonnets with one hand while composing opera with the other. He presently resides in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery beside his brother, the novelist Edgar Saltus.