In ancient times, when men by law
Might marry several wives,
One man had two, who were at war
In daily wrangling lives.
The first was young; and, loth to see
Her husband growing gray,
She pulled, with warm fidelity,
His grizzled hair away.
The other, aging, could not bear
To hear him called her son,
So rooted out each brown young hair
Patiently, one by one.
And thus, between this girlish dame
And that white-headed crone
Then henpecked husband soon became
As bald as any stone.
For he who lets well-wishers strive
To shape him to their mood,
May find himself, should be survive,