HALE, and though sixty, without a stoop,
What does old Benedict want with a wife?
Can he not make his own pea soup?

Better than most men–never droop
In the August noons when storms are rife?
Hale, and though sixty, without a stoop,

Supreme in the barn, the kitchen, the coop,
Can he not use both broom and knife?
Can he not make his own pea soup?

Yet Widow Gouin in command of the troop
Of gossips, can tell of the spinsters' strife.
Hale, and though sixty, without a stoop,

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There's a dozen would jump through the golden hoop,
For he's rich, and hardy for his time of life,–
Can he not make his own pea soup?

But Benedict's wise and the village group
He ignores, while he smokes and plays on his fife.
Hale, and though sixty, without a stoop,
Can he not make his own pea soup?

II

As for Catharine–now, she's a woman of sense,
Though hard to win, so Benedict thinks,
Though hard to please and near with the pence.
Down to the Widow Rose Archambault's fence
Her property runs and Benedict winks–
As for Catharine–now, she's a woman of sense.

At times he has wished to dropp all pretense
And ask her–she's fond of a bunch of pinks,
Though hard to please and near with the pence,

But he never progresses–the best evidence
That from medias res our Benedict shrinks.
As for Catharine–now, she's a woman of sense,

A woman of rarest intelligence;
She manages well, is as close as the Sphinx,
Though hard to please and near with the pence.

Still, that is a virtue at St. Clements.
Look at Rose Archambault, the improvident minx!
As for Catharine–now, she's a woman of sense,
Though hard to please and near with the pence.

More verses by Susan Frances Harrison

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