Titania

By Lord T-n.
So bluff Sir Leolin gave the bride away:
And when they married her, the little church
Had seldom seen a costlier ritual.
The coach and pair alone were two-pound-ten,
And two-pound-ten apiece the wedding-cakes;—
Three wedding-cakes. A Cupid poised a-top
Of each hung shivering to the frosted loves
Of two fond cushats on a field of ice,
As who should say 'I see you!'—Such the joy
When English-hearted Edwin swore his faith
With Mariana of the Moated Grange.
For Edwin, plump head-waiter at The Cock,
Grown sick of custom, spoilt of plenitude,
Lacking the finer wit that saith,
'I wait, They come; and if I make them wait, they go,'
Fell in a jaundiced humour petulant-green,
Watched the dull clerk slow-rounding to his cheese,
Flicked a full dozen flies that flecked the pane—
All crystal-cheated of the fuller air,
Blurted a free 'Good-day t'ye,' left and right,
And shaped his gathering choler to this head:—
'Custom! And yet what profit of it all?
The old order changeth yielding place to new,
To me small change, and this the Counter-change
Of custom beating on the self-same bar—
Change out of chop. Ah me! the talk, the tip,
The would-be-evening should-be-mourning suit,
The forged solicitude for petty wants
More petty still than they,—all these I loathe,
Learning they lie who feign that all things come
To him that waiteth. I have waited long,
And now I go, to mate me with a bride
Who is aweary waiting, even as I!'
But when the amorous moon of honeycomb
Was over, ere the matron-flower of Love—
Step-sister of To-morrow's marmalade—
Swooned scentless, Mariana found her lord
Did something jar the nicer feminine sense
With usage, being all too fine and large,
Instinct of warmth and colour, with a trick
Of blunting 'Mariana's' keener edge
To 'Mary Ann'—the same but not the same:
Whereat she girded, tore her crisped hair,
Called him 'Sir Churl,' and ever calling 'Churl!'
Drave him to Science, then to Alcohol,
To forge a thousand theories of the rocks,
Then somewhat else for thousands dewy cool,
Wherewith he sought a more Pacific isle
And there found love, a duskier love than hers.

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"Titania" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 16 Oct. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/35029/titania>.

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