Five Months I Will Getting She Married (1808)


City Road, Dec. 1807

Mr. Editor,

A young man occasionally called upon me who was born deaf and dumb, and who had been educated at the Asylum in the Grange Road. They had taught him to make shoes, to write, and to speak a few words; and the last time he called, he announced his intended marriage in the following words:


O How can the dumb go a courting,
Or how can the maiden approve?
’Tis easy; while fancy is sporting;
The eyes, speak the language of love.
Poor youth! altho’ born without hearing,5
Benevolence cheers such as you,
And teaches the words most endearing—
‘God bless you,’ and ‘How do you do?’
From these and the use of your pen;
Though in grammar you’re not over nice;10
Love can make out your where and your when,
And supply all defects in a trice.
And though you hear not the soft sigh
Of delight, when you press on her cheek;
That loss other joys shall supply; 15
E’en the turn of a finger can speak.
We all deal in nodding and winking,
And talk through a smile or a frown;
But you, on whatever you’re thinking,
Have a strange set of nods of your own.20
This credit of nodding we grant you;
But all former specimens prove
That nothing could ever enchant you,
Or light up your features like love.
For who shall describe the wild glee 25
That dwelt on your brow while you tarried,
O’er that pen, which recorded so free,
‘Five months I will getting she married.’
Perhaps she will study your face,
And read all your meanings with ease,30
And prove that affection’s pure grace,
In despite of all language can please.
The balance is much on your side—
Should she scold, why who better can bear it?
You may see a child’s mouth open’d wide 35
When it cries,—but you never can hear it.
If your heart bounds with pleasure, or bleeds,
Should fortune prove friendly or shy,
No oaths, in your book of misdeeds,
Will stare in your face when you die.40
You’re right thus to marry, methinks,
While young; though the wise ones have tarried;
For me, I’ll remember your winks,
And, ‘Five months I will getting she married.’


*Published in The Monthly Mirror, NS 3 (January 1808), 39–40. BACK