I’ve drawn my poem of the week this week from Edgar Guest, one of my favorite poets. Since this week marks my 25th wedding anniversary, I have chosen Guest’s marriage poem, “Chums.” Although I would not suggest changing the language of the “marriage rite” as he alludes, his sentiment is exactly right. (And, Guest says “fourteen years,” which I have changed for my purposes to “twenty-five years.”)
HUSBAND and wife for twenty-five years!
And just like children now,
As fond of one another as
The day they took their vow.
Where he goes she goes, hand in hand,
And thus their record sums,
Through all those years of joy and strife
They really have been chums.
Husband and wife. No, more than that,
For husbands oft are known,
In search of pleasure now and then,
To journey off alone;
And wives have clubs and other things
That interest them more
Than business plans their husbands make,
When honeymooning’s o’er.
Not so with them — through weal or woe,
Through sunshine and through rain,
Together they have journeyed on;
She cheered when all seemed vain.
His greatest joys have always been
The ones that she could share,
We knew that when we saw the one,
The other must be there.
If I could change the marriage rite
That binds a pair for life,
‘T would be to drop that stilted phrase,
‘You ‘re husband, now, and wife.’
For just one little word, I think,
The knot far more becomes;
I ‘d like to hear the parson say:
‘Beloved, now you ‘re chums.’
- Edgar Guest