Romance of a Youngest Daughter

by John Crowe Ransom

John Crowe Ransom

Who will wed the Dowager's youngest daughter,
The Captain? filled with ale?
He moored his expected boat to a stake in the water
And stumbled on sea-legs into the Hall for mating,
Only to be seduced by her lady-in-waiting,
Round-bosomed, and not so pale.

Or the thrifty burgher in boots and fancy vest
With considered views of marriage?
By the tidy scullery maid he was impressed
Who kept that house from depreciation and dirt,
But wife does double duty and takes no hurt,
So he rode her home in his carriage.

Never the spare young scholar antiquary
Who was their next resort;
They let him wait in the crypt of the Old Library
And found him compromised with a Saxon book,
Claiming his truelove Learning kept that nook
And promised sweet disport.

Desirée (of a mother's christening) never shall wed
Though fairest child of her womb;
"We will have revenge,— her injured Ladyship said,
"Henceforth the tightest nunnery be thy bed
By the topmost stair! When the ill-bred lovers come
We'll say, She is not at home.—

Last updated April 01, 2023