An Old Fogy on Christmas.

Tis Christmas, but changed are the fashions
   Since I first heard its clamorous bells,
For the girls of the period have passions,
   An the boys of the period are swells;
   Yet a charm on one's memory dwells.
Long ago there were terrible specties
   And marvelous riddles to guess,
In days ere the railway directors
                    Put on the Express.

'Neath mistletoe, loved by the Druid,
   You might then snatch a frolicsome kiss;
And the punch of that time was a fluid
   That nobody voted amiss;
   And the snapdragon-didn't it hiss!
Every girl in your heart was a lodger
   Who met you with mischievous glance;
And O, what a romp was Sir Roger
                     De Cove ley's dance!

'Mid beauties so buxom and lissom
   One forgot that the winter was cold;
But why does it seem that I miss'em?
    Perchance I'm a fogy grown old,
   Whose life is a tale that is told.
When a man is approaching to fifty
   He seldom breaks into his nights,
And is apt to be studiously thrifty
                     Of violent delights.
But wherefore one's age be revealing?
   Leave that to the Registry books,
A man is an old as he's feeling;
   A woman as old as she looks;
   Don't eagles live longer than rooks?
Besides in this festival season
    'Tis fit that great truths should be told:
"Whom the gods love, die young" for this reason
                        They cannot grow old.

From "The Inn of Strange Meetings; and other poems;
by Mortimer Collins.