Verse > Anthologies > Fuess and Stearns, eds. > The Little Book of Society Verse
Fuess and Stearns, comps.  The Little Book of Society Verse.  1922.
Why Don’t the Men Propose
By Thomas Haynes Bayly
WHY don’t the men propose, mamma?
  Why don’t the men propose?
Each seems just coming to the point,
  And then away he goes!
It is no fault of yours, mamma,        5
  That everybody knows;
You fête the finest men in town,
  Yet, oh! they won’t propose!
I’m sure I’ve done my best, mamma,
  To make a proper match;        10
For coronets and eldest sons
  I’m ever on the watch;
I’ve hopes when some distingué beau
  A glance upon me throws;
But though he’ll dance, and smile, and flirt,        15
  Alas! he won’t propose!
I’ve tried to win by languishing
  And dressing like a blue;
I’ve bought big books, and talk’d of them
  As if I’d read them through!        20
With hair cropped like a man, I’ve felt
  The heads of all the beaux;
But Spurzheim could not touch their hearts,
  And, oh! they won’t propose!
I threw aside the books, and thought        25
  That ignorance was bliss;
I felt convinced that men preferr’d
  A simple sort of Miss;
And so I lisped out naught beyond
  Plain “Yeses” or plain “noes,”        30
And wore a sweet unmeaning smile;
  Yet, oh! they won’t propose!
Last night, at Lady Ramble’s rout,
  I heard Sir Harry Gale
Exclaim, “Now I propose again!”        35
  I started, turning pale;
I really thought my time was come,
  I blushed like any rose;
But, oh! I found ’t was only at
  Ecarté he’d propose!        40
And what is to be done, mamma?
  Oh! what is to be done?
I really have no time to lose,
  For I am thirty-one:
At balls I am too often left        45
  Where spinsters sit in rows;
Why won’t the men propose, mamma?
  Why won’t the men propose?

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