Satirical poem in Warsaw Message criticizes and mocks Joseph and plural marriage.

Feb 7, 1844
Warsaw Message

"Buckeye's Lamentation for Want of More Wives," Warsaw Message 1, no. 47 (February 7, 1844): [1]

Warsaw Message
Warsaw Message
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I once thought I had knowledge great,

But now I find 'tis small;

I once thought I'd religion, too

But now I find I've none at all;

For I have but one lone wife,

And can obtain no more;

And the doctrine is, I can't be saved,

Unless I've half a score!


The narrow gate that Peter kept,

In ages long ago,

Is locked and barred since he gave up

The keys to beardless Joe.

And Joe proclaims it is too small,

And causes great delay,

And that he has permission got

To open the broad way.


The narrow gate did well enough

When Peter, James and John,

Did lead the Saints on Zion ward,

In single file along:

When bachelors, like good old Paul,

Could win the glorious prize,

And maids, without a marriage rite,

Reach "mansions in the skies."


But we have other teaching now,

Of greater glories far;

How a single glory's nothing more

Than some lone twinkling star.

A two-fold glory's like the moon,

That shines so bright at night,

Whatever he thinks right.


A tenfold glory, that's the prize!

Without it you're undone!

But with it you will shine as bright,

As the bright shining sun.

There you may shine like mighty Gods,

Creating worlds so fair,

At least a world for every wife

That you take with you ther[e].


The man that has got ten fair wives,

Ten worlds he may create;

And he that has got less than this,

Will find a bitter fate.

The one or two that he might have,

He'll be deprived of then;

And they'll be given as talents were,

To him who has got ten.


And 'tis so here, in this sad life,

Such ills you must endure,

Some priest or king, may claim your wife,

Because that you are poor.

A revelation he may get,

Refuse it if you dare!

And you'll be damned perpetually,

By our good Lord the Mayor.


But if that you yield willingly,

Your daughters and your wives,

In spiritual marriage to our Pope,

He'll seal you up, be damned you can't.

No matter what you do,

If that you only stick to him,

He swears he'll take you through


He'll lead you on through the broad gate,

Which he has opened wide,

In solid column you shall march,

And enter side by side.

And no delay you'll meet with there,

But "Forward March" you shall;

For he's not only our Lord Mayor,

But Lord Lieutenant Ral.


This is the secret doctrine taught,

By Jo and the red rams*—

Although in public they deny—

But then 'tis all a sham.

They fear the indignation just,

Of those who have come here,

With hands that's clean and honest hearts,

To serve the Lord in fear.


Thus all the twelve do slyly teach,

And slyly practice too;

And even the sage Patriarch,

Won't have untied his shoe;

For sure, 'twould be quite impolite,

If not a great disgrace,

To have a widow sister fair,

Spit in a Prophet's face!


But Jo at snaring beats them all,

And at the rest does laugh;

For widows poor, and orphan girls,

He can ensnare with chaff,

He sets his snares around for all,

And very seldom fails,

To catch some though[t]less Partridges,

Snow-birds, or Knight-ingales!


But there are a hundred other birds,

He never can make sing;

Who won't be dragged to hell,

By prophet, priest nor king;

Whose sires have bled in days gone by,

For their dear country's cause;

And who will still maintain its rights,

Its Liberty and Laws!

* B. Y. & O. H.

BHR Staff Commentary

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