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Wife Makes New Year Resolution

Fight over broken crockery /

NH-born Sam walter Foss has a clever poem for every occasion. He frequently wrote about the curious custom of making New Year resolutions, promises that are never kept. In this tidbit, Foss again uses the vernacular of the "common man" to tell this co-dependent tale of domestic disharmony.




Matilda’s New Year Resolution
By Sam Walter Foss

MORE ABOUT Sam Walter Foss 

(Afore I spin my yarn to you
Right here an’ now I wish to pause
An’ tell you it is gospel true –
My wife’s the best wife ever was;
Now I have made this plain as day,
I’ll spin my yarn and say my say.)

Las’ New Year’s Day my wife she vowed
Thet she’d no more unloose the bung
That held her temper in and swowed
No more she’d bang me with her tongue;
No more she’d em’ty on my path
The roarin’ flood-gates of her wrath.

Las’ Tuesday wuz a New Year’ day,
Ez calm and sweet ez heaven itself.
I packed all grief an’ pain away –
I packed it on the highes’ shelf.
For now one jaw-word did she say
Through all that long an’ blessed day.

But Wednesday mornin’ she got riled
Coz I brought mud in on my boots,
An’ broke out purty midlin’ wild
In one of her eternal toots.
An’ fired her grape and blazed away
For purty nigh a half a day.

(An now afore I tell no more
I want to make it plump and plain,
So good a wife hain’t lived before
An’ one so good won’t live again.
Now we hev on this pint agreed
I’ll take my yard up and perceed.)

Nex’ day I spilt pie on my vest
(She is the boss at makin’ pie);
She said I was the dirtiest
Ol’ sloven an’ deserved to die.
A man who couldn’ eat punkin pie
’Thout slobberin’ roun’ deserved to die.

An’ then her wild volcaner broke,
An’ she belched forth for half a day,
An’ filled the atmosphere with smoke
In her own old peculiar way.
I grabbed my overcoat in fright,
Skun out an didn’ come back till night.

(An’ now right here ‘fore I perceed
I want it plainly understood
My wife she allus takes the lead
In all things that are sweet an; good;
An’ I want you to understand
That she’s the best wife in the land.)

Las’ Friday night I broke a lamp,
An’ she came down upon me then,
An’ called me lubber, lummux, scamp,
The mos’ outrageous gawk of men;
An’ took a piece of ol’ sink lead
An’ banged me with it on the head.

(Now jest hol’ on a minute here --
I wish to say right here an’ now,
There ain’t no wife so sweet an’ dear
As my good wife Matilda Howe.
An’ now on this we’re both agreed,
Once more I’m ready to perceed.)

With this sink lead she laid me out,
I fainted an’ grew deathly pale,
An’ yes’day mornin Sheriff Strout
He took Matilda off to jail;
Wounded and sick I languish here
Without her tender care to cheer.

But I won’t yield to grief an’ doubt,
An’ to Matilda I’ll be true.
Nex’ New Year’s Day will she git out,
An’ we’ll begin our life anew.
(An’ now I’ll say before I pause,
She is the best wife ever was.)

By Sam Walter Foss
Dreams in Homespun, 1898

MORE poetry by SAM WALTER FOSS here

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