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Tie the Knot Tightly

Henry Clay Work 1832 (Middletown, Connecticut) – 1884 (Hartford, Connecticut)

"Launching our from the ship--
ha, ha! courtship--
Oh the misty matrimonial sea,
Let the cable hang lightly,
but tie the knot tightly."
So the hoary sailors tell me.
As we are just launching our nuptial canoes,
Enroute for some haven, we know not what,
Old mariner' views
'twere wrong to refuse;
So oblige us with a workmanlike knot.

And tie the knot tightly, good pastor!
Invent one that will not come loose;
For tho' sad, it is true that people slip thro',
Or squirm and wriggle out of the noose.
"To love and to cherish"
"We will!" they reply.
"Till vital pow'rs perish"
"Of course, or course;
Until we di-- until we di--
Until we divorce."

With that ever firm cord--
ha, ha! concord--
We may reckon on a tie that will last
Till the joys and the sorrows
of earthly tomorrows
Lie forgotten in the grave of the Past.
But we are not convicts, so spare us that joke
Of "welding the chain while the iron is hot;"
And we are not oxen; so make us no yoke;
Just a good and honest old fashioned knot.

If there must be a lock--
ha, ha! wedlock--
Hang the key up where it will not found;
Yet be sure and not loose it,
we may want to use it
When our jolly golden wedding comes round.
Tho's here's a stray husband, and ther's a stray wife,
Who once just as fondly combined their lot,
Determin'd are we on union for life,
And we want at least a fifty-year knot.

I must lay off my hood--ha,ha! girlhood--
As I robe me in my bridal array;
I'm a little bit frightened!
my features thus whitened,
Pearly powder I'll dispense with today.
Yet, why should I tremble! He suits, to a T;
And I, so he tells me, suit him to a dot.
So, now, as you see our notions agree,
We will that you for a true-lover's knot.

On attaining this age--ha, ha! marriage--
Single blessedness! I bid thee adieu;
While dividing each trouble,
my joys I shall double
If the half of what he tells me is true.
Though men are uncertain, take men as they go,
I'm bent on retaining the one I've got:
There's a proverb, you know--"two strings to one beau;"
So, suppose we try a double beau-knot!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:01 min read

Henry Clay Work

Henry Clay Work was an American composer and songwriter. more…

All Henry Clay Work poems | Henry Clay Work Books

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