Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the The Princeton fair copy manuscript
The poem looks like a parody children's limerick directed at some social fact—some marriage arrangement—that DGR deplored. Casting his mordant commentary into this displaced form of
light verse is quite effective.
Two holograph manuscripts survive: a draft in the small Ashley Notebook III and a fair copy at Princeton. The latter is titled, the former not.
WMR first published this poem in his collection of 1911, where he dates it 1871—on what evidence we do not know. The title “Smithereens” is his invention.