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The Orphaned Old Maid


I wanted to marry, but father said, "No--

'Tis weakness in women to give themselves so;

If you care for your freedom you'll listen to me,

Make a spouse in your pocket, and let the men be."


I spake on't again and again: father cried,

"Why--if you go husbanding, where shall I bide?

For never a home's for me elsewhere than here!"

And I yielded; for father had ever been dear.


But now father's gone, and I feel growing old,

And I'm lonely and poor in this house on the wold,

And my sweetheart that was found a partner elsewhere,

And nobody flings me a thought or a care.


Thomas Hardy




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