This Old Dame

I came unto a tavern where my speech
Was met by confused wails. Nothing new;
It has been long since drinking halls welcomed
This old dame. Now all is out of my reach.

Where once I was the talk of all the men,
Now my dress is seen as archaism—
Such colours arouse a worker’s holler
In the depths of this rotten drinker’s den;

Yet once I walked with Spenser in the trenches,
We, arm in arm, did tend to battle-gore
Splashed around like school-childs playing in puddles;
Yellow decay’ng stumps give less worse stenches,

Aye, less worse (and better) than the alleys
Packed with mottled cats and broken bottles!
And, yet, such beasts are tamer than the soldier
Whose riddled corpse wafts vengeance on the breeze.

This old dame is too sleepy for a joke:
So nice ’twould be — to share my companie
With a good old Tom from yesteryear’s dawn;
Yet I fear they’re all buried ’neath the oak.

So here it is: my invite to a friend dear,
To find a spot where I may talk at length
To common folk of broad cheek’d inviting;
I have much of time! I shall be waiting here.

 

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