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Short poem

Don Marquis (1878-1937)


              1The things that I can't have I want
              2    And what I have seems second-rate,
              3The things I want to do I can't
              4    And what I have to do I hate,
              5    The things I want at once come late,
              6I am not feeling gay nor gleg,
              7    I'm really in an awful state,
              8My life is like a scrambled egg.

              9If I should order elephant
            10    They'd put a camel on my plate,
            11If I should seek a wealthy aunt
            12    A poor old uncle'd be my fate,
            13    If I should say, "You amputate
            14My foot, and bring a wooden peg,"
            15    They'd probably cut off my pate;
            16My life is like a scrambled egg.

            17The things I want most of are scant,
            18    The girls I really love won't mate,
            19The times when rage would make me rant
            20    My larynx won't articulate;
            21    Should I arrange some morn at eight
            22To beat my brains out with my leg
            23    I'd probably forget the date;
            24My life is like a scrambled egg.

            25The simplest matters won't come straight,
            26    For once I wooed a maid named Meg
            27And very nearly married Kate;
            28    My life is like a scrambled egg.


6] gleg: sharp, smart.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Don Marquis, Noah an' Jonah an' Cap'n John Smith: A Book of Humorous Verse (New York: D. Appleton, 1921): 102-03. PS 3525 A797N6 Robarts Library
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2003
Recent editing: 1:2003/7/5

Rhyme: ababcdcd ... abab

Other poems by Don Marquis