Xantippe by Wilbur D. Nesbit

Xantippe wife of Socrates

Xantippe, the wife of Socrates the Great Philosopher

Xantippe was the lady who was wed to Socrates—
And their life was not a grand, sweet song;
‘Twas a study—just a study—done in all the minor keys
With the gloomy measures turned on strong.
When old Socrates was busy at the office, she would wait
Till he ambled in at 3 a.m.
And she met him in the moonlight ‘twixt the doorway and the gate—
Then the neighbors heard a lot from them.

But Socrates—he didn’t mind when she pulled out his hair,
When she would box his ears for him he didn’t seem to care—
In a manner bland and wise
He would then philosophize
On the Whyness of the Whichness of the Neither Here nor There.

Xantippe did the cooking, and (we have to tell the truth)—
Indigestion quickly seized on him,
And in one of her biscuits on a time he broke a tooth,
Yet he smiled across at wifey grim.
When she tried her hand at pastry was the only time he spoke,
And of course he had to make a break—
‘Twas perhaps the first appearance of the ever-lasting joke
On the pies that mother used to make.

Poor Socrates! He never even ducked his head or dodged
But merely rubbed the spot whereon the flying platter lodged,
Then he murmured: “Xanty, dear,
You have made a problem clear”—
Then he went to get the swelling on his cranium massaged.

Xantippe wouldn’t let him smoke at all about the place,
And she wouldn’t let him take a drink.
He never learned the value of a two-spot or an ace—
For ‘most all that he could do was think.
Thus you see that though Xantippe has been fiercly criticized,
Yet she really made her husband’s fame,
For ’twas while she bossed him sorely that the great man analyzed
All the subjects that have made his name.

Xantippe made him famous; but for her the man had been
Forgotten like the others of the time that he lived in.
“Oh, my darling, such a help!”
He most gratefully would yelp
When she gave him an impression with a busy rolling-pin.