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.