The Rubaiyat of a Huffy Husband

Language: English
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I wake, the Sun does scatter into Flight
The Dreams of Happiness I have each Night,
O blessèd Dreams—full of Domestic Bliss,
Too soon alas! They're banished with the Light.

I'm going to tell in just the Briefest way
The cause of all my Anguish—if I may—
Then one and all will know the Reason why
My Mien is Solemn, and I am not Gay.

On Christmas day a good Friend did present
My Wife a Book; no doubt with best intent.
The "Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" 'twas.
Little I dreamed the Woe of its Advent.

After the rush of Holidays was o'er,
And things had settled back in Place once more,
Wife found the Time to revel in that Book,
And told me how she loved its Ancient Lore.

She soon possessed the dreadful Omar Fad,
Which other Husbands, I have learned, think Bad.
But unlike other Fads which now are Past,
This has the power to make me very Mad.

The others which she tired of years before,—
Collecting Vases, Fans, and Spoons galore,—
Did not affect the Comfort of our Home,
Therefore there was no reason to be Sore.

But now each time I come back to the House
I find what was my former loving Spouse
So deep absorbed in Omar's Rubaiyat,
She reads right on, and scarcely does Arouse.

Or else I find her with her Pen in Hand,
Grinding out Quatrains which mayhap are Grand,
She tries to make me Listen: Rest assured
That I obey Not any such Command.

Had I but known just what my Fate would be,
Inside a Drawer to which I hold the Key,
That Book forever would have Disappeared
And thereby would have gained some Peace for Me.

But ah, the Irony of Fate—that's how
"A Book of verses underneath the Bough"
Is what I hear from Morn to Dewy Eve.
A WildernesswereParadise just Now.

Sometimes when I am very tired, and Plead
To be amused, My Wife says, "I will read."
And this is what she tries to make me Hear,
"With Earth's first Clay they did the Last man knead."

But don't imagine while Possessed of Wit,
That I assent, and therefore Calmly sit.
I take my hat, and hasten from the House,
And come not back till think she's through with It.

I might have Prayed, and possibly thereby
Have gained relief from Somewhere in the Sky.
But Wife says, Omar's reckoning proves it
"As Impotently moves as You or I."

At least that is the Doctrine he presents,
Although to Me it is Devoid of Sense.
My unbelief in what he says does Make
My Wife's Love for him only more Intense.

And thus it is—the Rubaiyat's her Creed.
It is her Comfort in all sorts of Need.
I tear my hair—I storm—I swear, and yet,
'Tis only to dear Omar she pays Heed.

"Some for the Glories of this world; and some
Sigh for the Prophet's Paradise to Come;"
The greatest Boon I ask for is, I may
Supplant this Interloper as a Chum.

Now all the Years that we have Wedded been,
Not once had Demon Jealousy crept in
Until this Omar—dead eight Hundred Years,
Did come and her Affection from me Win.

I feel chagrined to Think, at this late Date,
A Man so long since Dead can alienate
The fond Devotion that's been mine alone....