On Marriage

I married a girl named Sue
And alas! She married me too!



As Then, So Now

When years ago and many ages since
My flaming ardor flared (now fondness thrives
For you, most wondrous of all wondrous wives),
You turned this mortal pittance to a prince.

As I was wrapped in rapture long ago,
I’m yearning hitherto for your embrace
While climbing now on heaven’s steep staircase,
Hand-locked with you, and leaving earth below.

So now, but weeks beyond the coldest times,
A fire burns within my heart and yours.
Emotion stirs to warm the out-of-doors,
To melt the snow and ice of arctic climes.

And as in wintry winds so in the heat
Of sultry summer days, your spirit soothes
My troubled heart, be it a heart of youths
Or aged men, you turn the bitter sweet!

When I am wayward, Love, you bring me round.
There’s nothing—no one else—whom I adore!
My heart’s affection flares forevermore,
As then, so now, on gentle, solid ground.



To Grow Old with You

I wanted to grow old with you;
It was my most enduring wish
Than any other I’d construe:
That I’d someday grow old with you.
No horde of gold would I accrue
Or pleasures on a silver dish;
I wanted to grow old with you
And now I have my grandest wish!



Jeff Kemper has been a biology teacher, biblical studies instructor, editor, and painting contractor. He lives with his wife, Sue, in York County, Pennsylvania.

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13 Responses

  1. Joe Tessitore

    These are wonderful and strike a very familiar and welcome chord.
    Thank you. Mr. Kemper.

  2. C.B. Anderson

    That’s exactly how it is, Jeff. These poems remind me of one I published in The Lyric years ago:

    The years gone by have dimmed the bliss
    Which sealed our ardent troth. As we grow older,
    I’m sure I will remember this:
    Your beauty stormed the eyes of its beholder.

    The passion of our first long kiss
    When we were young was but a lukewarm smolder
    Compared to how I’d fiercely miss
    Your steady hand now resting on my shoulder.

      • Margaret Coats

        This posting becomes unexpectedly rich with your comment, C. B. Thanks for bringing it in.

  3. Anna J. Arredondo

    Heartfelt sentiments wonderfully expressed. Thank you for sharing these with us!

  4. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Jeff, I love these poems! I love the touch of humor in “Our Marriage”. I adore the poetic wisdom of “As Then, So Now”. The enduring qualities of true love are divine, and you manage to convey that with beauty and a smile. I especially like this smile of a line: “You turned this mortal pittance to a prince.” And, I’m a sucker for a good triolet, and “To Grow Old with You” really hits the spot. Thank you!

  5. Margaret Coats

    Jeff, I share Susan’s tastes, both for a good triolet and for that wonderful line in “As Then, So Now”: “You turned this mortal pittance to a prince.” Indeed, these are three fine marriage poems, and your wife is to be complimented for inspiring your poetry, as well as for transforming you into royalty.


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