Oh for the nights when we used to sit
In the firelight's glow or flicker,
With the gas turned low and our pipes all lit,
And the air fast growing thicker;
When you, enthroned in the big arm-chair,
Would spin for us yarns unending,
Your voice and accent and pensive air
With the narrative subtly blending!
Oh for the bleak and wintry days
When we set our blood in motion,
Leaping the rocks below the braes
And wetting our feet in the ocean,
Or shying at marks for moderate sums
(A penny a hit, you remember),
With aching fingers and purple thumbs,
In the merry month of December!
There is little doubt we were very daft,
And our sports, like the stakes, were trifling;
While the air of the room where we talked and laughed
Was often unpleasantly stifling.
Now we are grave and sensible men,
And wrinkles our brows embellish,
And I fear we shall never relish again
The pleasures we used to relish.
And I fear we never again shall go,
The cold and weariness scorning,
For a ten mile walk through the frozen snow
At one o'clock in the morning:
Out by Cameron, in by the Grange,
And to bed as the moon descended . . .
To you and to me there has come a change,
And the days of our youth are ended.