Patrick Biggs: Epithalamium

(For J. M. B.)

Anna Karenina's heart went a-wandering
While she was wed to a government suit.
Daisy Buchanan loved spending and squandering,
Married a bigoted, upper class brute.

Heathcliff abused Isabella sadistically,
Apt as he was to get things off his chest.
Not so the Dalloways--they altruistically
Saw that their feelings were never expressed.

Pity Charles Bovary--cuckolded, busted, he
Scarcely knew Emma who took her own life.
He'd have done well to have kept her in custody,
As Mr. Rochester did with his wife.

Literature's unions are by and large terrible,
Fraught with resentments and marred by affairs.
Long may your marriage be duller but bearable.
Long may your marriage be better than theirs.