The Housewife's Lament

Melody -


1. One day I was walking,
I heard a complaining,
I saw a poor woman
The picture of gloom.
She gazed at the mud
On her doorstep ('twas raining),
And this was her song
As she wielded her broom:

"O life is a toil,
And love is a trouble,
Beauty will fade
And riches will flee,
Wages will dwindle
And prices will double
And nothing is as I
Would wish it to be."

2. "There's too much of worriment
Goes to a bonnet,
There's too much of ironing
Goes to a shirt.
There's nothing that pays for
The time you waste on it,
There's nothing that lasts us
But trouble and dirt.

3. "In March it is mud,
It's slush in December,
The midsummer breezes
Are loaded with dust.
In fall the leaves litter,
In muddy September
The wallpaper rots
And the candlesticks rust.

4. "There are worms on the cherries
And slugs on the roses,
And ants in the sugar
And mice in the pies.
The rubbish of spiders
No mortal supposes,
And ravaging roaches
And damaging flies.

5. "It's sweeping at six
And i's dusting at seven,
It's victuals at eight
And it's dishes at nine.
It's potting and panning
From ten to eleven.
We scarce break our fast
Till we plan how to dine.

6. "With grease and with grime
From corner to centre,
Forever at war
And forever alert.
No rest for a day
Lest the enemy enter,
I spend my whole life
In the struggle with dirt.

7. "Last night in my dreams
I was stationed forever,
On a far distant rock
In the midst of the sea.
My one task of life
Was a ceaseless endeavor,
To brush off the waves
As they swept over me.

8. "Alas! 'Twas no dream -
Ahead I behold it,
I see I am helpless
My fate to avert!"
She lay down her broom,
Her apron she folded.
She lay down and died
And was buried in dirt.

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