Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IX. Tragedy: Humor
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IX. Tragedy: Humor.  1904.
Humorous Poems: I. Woman
John Godfrey Saxe (1816–1887)
I ASKED of Echo, t’ other day,
  (Whose words are few and often funny,)
What to a novice she could say
  Of courtship, love, and matrimony.
  Quoth Echo, plainly,—“Matter-o’-money!”        5
Whom should I marry?—should it be
  A dashing damsel, gay and pert,
A pattern of inconstancy;
  Or selfish, mercenary flirt?
  Quoth Echo, sharply,—“Nary flirt!”        10
What if, aweary of the strife
  That long has lured the dear deceiver,
She promise to amend her life,
  And sin no more; can I believe her?
  Quoth Echo, very promptly,—“Leave her!”        15
But if some maiden with a heart
  On me should venture to bestow it,
Pray, should I act the wiser part
  To take the treasure or forego it?
  Quoth Echo, with decision,—“Go it!”        20
But what if, seemingly afraid
  To bind her fate in Hymen’s fetter,
She vow she means to die a maid,
  In answer to my loving letter?
  Quoth Echo, rather coolly,—“Let her!”        25
What if, in spite of her disdain,
  I find my heart intwined about
With Cupid’s dear delicious chain
  So closely that I can’t get out?
  Quoth Echo, laughingly,—“Get out!”        30
But if some maid with beauty blest,
  As pure and fair as Heaven can make her,
Will share my labor and my rest
  Till envious Death shall overtake her?
  Quoth Echo (sotto voce),—“Take her!”        35

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