I dreamed a dream in the midst of my slumbers,
And as fast as I dreamed it was coined into numbers,
My thoughts ran along in such beautiful meter,
I'm sure I ne'er saw any poetry sweeter.
It seemed that a law had been recently made
That a tax on old bachelors' pates should be laid,
And in order to make them all willing to marry,
The tax was as large as a man could well carry.
The bachelors grumbled and said 'twas no use,
'Twas horrid injustice and horrid abuse,
And declared that to save their own hearts' blood from spilling,
Of such a vile tax they would not pay a shilling.
But the rulers determined them still to pursue,
So they set all the old bachelors up at vendue;
A crier was sent through the town to and fro,
To rattle his bell and his trumpet to blow
. And to call out to all he might meet in his way:
"Ho! forty old bachelors sold here today!"
And presently all the old maids in the town
Each in her very best bonnet and gown,
From thirty to sixty, fair, plain, red and pale,
Of every description, all flocked to the sale.
The auctioneer then in his labor began,
And called out aloud, as he held up a man,
"How much for a bachelor? Who wants to buy?"
In a twinkle every lady responded, "I! I!"
In short, at a highly extravagant price,
The bachelors were all sold off in a trice.
And forty old maids-some younger, some older
Each lugged an old bachelor home on her shoulder.