Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1835–1860
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. VI–VIII: Literature of the Republic, Part III., 1835–1860
 
The Way of the World
By John Godfrey Saxe (1816–1887)
 
[Born in Highgate, Vt., 1816. Died in Albany, N. Y., 1887. From Poems. Highgate Edition. 1868.]

A YOUTH would marry a maiden,
  For fair and fond was she;
But she was rich, and he was poor,
  And so it might not be.
    A lady never could wear        5
      Her mother held it firm
    A gown that came of an India plant,
      Instead of an India worm!
And so the cruel word was spoken;
And so it was two hearts were broken.        10
 
A youth would marry a maiden,
  For fair and fond was she;
But he was high and she was low,
  And so it might not be.
    A man who had worn a spur,        15
      In ancient battle won,
    Had sent it down with great renown,
      To goad his future son!
And so the cruel word was spoken;
And so it was two hearts were broken.        20
 
A youth would marry a maiden,
  For fair and fond was she;
But their sires disputed about the Mass,
  And so it might not be.
    A couple of wicked kings,        25
      Three hundred years agone,
    Had played at a royal game of chess,
      And the Church had been a pawn.
And so the cruel word was spoken;
And so it was two hearts were broken.        30
 
 
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