A BACHELOR'S SOLILOQUY
by Anon To wed, or not to wed; that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in a man to suffer The slings and sorrows of that blind young archer; Or fly to arms against a host of troubles, And at the altar end them. To woo--to wed-- No more; and by this step to say we end The heartache, and the thousand hopes and fears The single suffer--'tis a consummation Devoutly to be wished. To woo--to wed;-- To wed--perchance repent!--ay, there's the rub; For in that wedded state, what woes may come When we have launched upon that untried sea Must give us pause. There's the respect That makes celibacy of so long life; For who would bear the quips and jeers of friends, The husband's pity, and the coquette's scorn, The vacant hearth, the solitary cell, The unshared sorrow, and the void within, When he himself might his redemption gain With a fair damsel. Who would beauty shun To toil and plod over a barren heath; But that the dread of something yet beyond-- The undiscovered country, from whose bourne No bachelor returns--puzzles the will, And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of! Thus forethought does make cowards of us all, And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought, And numberless flirtations, long pursued, With this regard, their currents turn awry And lose the name of marriage.
The end