Mrs. E. T. Corbet

Submitted by Bob Sharp ( March 2007 )

It's easy to talk of the patience of Job -
Job had nothing to try him!
If he'd been married to 'Bijah Brown
Folks wouldn't have dared come nigh him.

Trials indeed! Now I'll tell you what -
If you want to be tired of your life,
Just come and change places with me a spell,
For I'm an Inventor's Wife!

And such inventions! I'm never sure,
When I take up the coffee-pot,
That 'Bijah aint been improving it
And it mayn't go off like a shot!

Why, didn't he make me a cradle once
That would keep itself a-rocking?
And didn't it pitch the baby out?
And wasn't his head bruised? Shocking!

Then there was that patent peeler too -
A wonderful thing, I'll say!
But it had one fault: it never stopped
Till the apple was peeled away!

As for locks and clocks and mowing-machines
And reapers and all such trash -
Why, 'Bijah invented heaps of them,
But they don't bring in any cash!

He invented a Jew's-harp to go by steam
And a newfangled powder-horn
While the children were going barefoot to school
And the weeds were a-choking our corn!

When 'Bijah and me kept company
He wasn't like this, you know.
Our folks all thought he was dreadful smart
But that was years ago!

He was as handsome as any picture then
And had such a glib, bright way.
I never thought as I'd see the time
When I'd rue my wedding-day!

But since I've been forced to chop the wood
And tend to the farm beside,
And to see 'Bijah just sitting there -
Well, I've just sat down and cried!

We lost the whole of our turnip crop
While he was inventing a gun;
But I counted it one of my mercies
When it bust afore it was done!

So he turned it into a burglar alarm -
It ought to give thieves a fright;
It would scare an honest man out of his wits
If he set it off at night!

Sometimes I wonder if 'Bijah's crazy,
He does such curious things!
Have I told you about his bedstead yet?
'Twas full of wheels and springs.

It had a key to wind it up
And a clock face at the head,
And all you did was to turn the hands
And, at any hour you said,

The bed got up and shook itself,
Then bounced you on the floor,
And then shut up, just like a box,
So you couldn't sleep any more.

Well, 'Bijah - he fixed it all complete
And set it at half-past five,
But he hadn't no more than got into it,
When - Strike me sakes alive! - 

The wheels began to whiz and whirr
- I heard a fearful snap -
And there was the bedstead, with 'Bijah inside,
Shut up - just like a trap!

I screamed, but of course it wasn't no use
And I worked the whole long night
A-trying to open the pesky thing;
At last I got in a fright.

I couldn't hear his voice inside
And thought he might be dying,
So I took a crowbar and smashed it in
And there was 'Bijah, peacefully lying

Inventing a way to get out again!
That's all very well to say,
But I don't believe he'd have found it out
If I'd left him in all day!

Now since I've told you my story
Do you wonder I'm tired of my life
And think it strange I often wish
That I weren't an INVENTOR'S WIFE?
The end