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The Centenarians

Robert Service

I asked of ancient gaffers three
          The way of their ripe living,
And this is what they told to me
          Without Misgiving.

The First: 'The why I've lived so long,
          To my fond recollection
Is that for women, wine and song
          I've had a predilection.
Full many a bawdy stave I've sung
          With wenches of my choosing,
But of the joys that kept me young
          The best was boozing.'

The Second: 'I'm a sage revered
          Because I was a fool
And with the bourgeon of my beard
          I kept my ardour cool.
On health I have conserved my hold
          By never dissipating:
And that is why a hundred old
          I'm celebrating.'

The Third: 'The explanation I
          Have been so long a-olding,
Is that to wash I never try,
          Despite conjugal scolding.
I hate the sight of soap and so
          I seldom change my shirt:
Believe me, Brother, there is no
          Preservative like dirt.'

So there you have the reasons three
          Why age may you rejoice:
Booze, squalour and temerity,--
          Well, you may take your choice.
Yet let me say, although it may
          Your egoism hurt,
Of all the three it seems to me
          The best is DIRT.

Added: 29 Jun 2002 | Last Read: 22 Apr 2018 6:50 AM | Viewed: 3916 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/5409/ | Viewed on 22 April 2018.
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