A Romance.

Punch, April 22, 1903


Since Earth was first created,
 Since Time began to fly,
No friends were e’er so mated,
 So firm as Jones and I.
Since primal Man was fashioned
 To people ice and stones,
No pair, I ween, had ever been
 Such chums as I and Jones.

In fair and foulest weather,
 Beginning when but boys,
We faced our woes together,
 We shared each other’s joys.
Together, sad or merry,
 We acted hand in glove,
Until—’twas careless, very—
 I chanced to fall in love.

The lady’s points to touch on,
 Her name was Julia White,
Her lineage high, her scutcheon
 Untarnished; manners, bright;
Complexion, soft and creamy;
 Her hair, of golden hue;
Her eyes, in aspect, dreamy,
 In colour, greyish blue.

For her I sighed, I panted;
 I saw her in my dreams;
I vowed, protested, ranted;
 I sent her chocolate creams.
Until methought one morning
 I seemed to hear a voice,
A still, small voice of warning:
 “Does Jones approve your choice?”

To Jones of my affection
 I spoke that very night.
If he had no objection,
 I said I’d wed Miss White.
I asked him for his blessing,
 But, turning rather blue,
He said: “It’s most distressing,
 But I adore her, too.”

“Then, Jones,” I answered, sobbing,
 “My wooing’s at an end.
I couldn’t think of robbing
 My best, my only friend.
The notion makes me furious—
 I’d much prefer to die.”
“Perhaps you’ll think it curious,”
 Said Jones, “but so should I.”

Nor he nor I would falter
 In our resolve one jot.
I bade him seek the altar,
 He vowed that he would not.
“She’s yours, old fellow. Make her
 As happy as you can.”
“Not so,” said I, “you take her—
 You are the lucky man.”

At length—the situation
 Had lasted now a year—
I had an inspiration,
 Which seemed to make things clear.
“Supposing,” I suggested,
 “We ask Miss White to choose?
I should be interested
 To hear her private views.

“Perhaps she has a preference—
 I own it sounds absurd—
But I submit, with deference,
 That she might well be heard.
In clear, commercial diction
 The case in point we’ll state,
Disclose the cause of friction,
 And leave the rest to Fate.”

We did, and on the morrow
 The postman brought us news.
Miss White expressed her sorrow
 At having to refuse.
Of all her many reasons
 This seemed to me the pith:
Six months before (or rather more)
 She’d married Mr. Smith.




Unsigned verse as printed; credited to P. G. Wodehouse in the Index to Vol. 124 of Punch.