Still serve me in my age, I pray,
As in my youth, O faithful one;
For years I've brushed thee every day--
Could Socrates have better done?
What though the fates would wreak on thee
The fulness of their evil art?
Use thou philosophy, like me--
And we, old friend, shall never part!
I think--I often think of it--
The day we twain first faced the crowd;
My roistering friends impeached your fit,
But you and I were very proud!
Those jovial friends no more make free
With us (no longer new and smart),
But rather welcome you and me
As loving friends that should not part.
The patch? Oh, yes--one happy night--
"Lisette," says I, "it's time to go"--
She clutched this sleeve to stay my flight,
Shrieking: "What! leave so early? No!"
To mend the ghastly rent she'd made,
Three days she toiled, dear patient heart!
And I--right willingly I staid--
Lisette decreed we should not part!
No incense ever yet profaned
This honest, shiny warp of thine,
Nor hath a courtier's eye disdained
Thy faded hue and quaint design;
Let servile flattery be the price
Of ribbons in the royal mart--
A roadside posie shall suffice
For us two friends that must not part!
Fear not the recklessness of yore
Shall re-occur to vex thee now;
Alas, I am a youth no more--
I'm old and sere, and so art thou!
So bide with me unto the last
And with thy warmth caress this heart
That pleads, by memories of the Past,
That two such friends should never part!