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You wonder that your ancient friend
Has come so near his journey's end,
Aud borne his heavy load of ill
O’er Sorrow's slough, and Labor's hill,
Without a partner to beguile
The toilsome way with constant smile,
To share in happiness and pain,
To guide, to comfort, to sustain,
And cheer the last, long, weary stage,
That leads to Death, through gloomy Age!
To drop these metaphoric jokes,
And speak like reasonable folks,
It seems you wonder, Mr. Pringle,
That old Tom Quince is living single.

Since my old crony and myself
Laid crabbed Euclid on the shelf,
And made our Congè to the Cam,
Long years have passed ; and here I am,
With nerves and gout, but yet alive,
A Bachelor, and fifty-five.

Sir, I'm a Bachelor, and mean,
Until the closing of the scene,
Or be it right, or be it wrong,
To play the part I've played so long,
Nor be the rat that others are,
Caught by a ribbon or a star.

“As years increase,” your worship cries, “ All troubles and anxieties Come swiftly on: you feel vexation About your neighbors, or the nation; The gout in fingers or in toes, Awakes you from your first repose; You'll want a clever nurse, when life Begins to fail you !-take a wife; Believe me, from the mind's disease Her soothing voice might give you ease, . And when the twinge comes shooting through

you, Her care might be of service to you."

Sir, I'm not dying, though I know You charitably think me so; Not dying yet, though you, and others, In augury your learned brothers, Take pains to prophesy events Which lie some twenty winters hence. Some twenty ?-look! you shake your head, As if I were insane or dead,

And tell your children and your wife,
“Old men grow very fond of life !"
Alas! your prescience never ends
As long as it concerns your friends;
But your own fifty-third December
Is what you never can remember!

And when I talk about my health,
And future hopes of weal or wealth,
With something 'twixt a grunt and groan,
You mutter in an under tone,
“ Hark! how the dotard chatters still !*
He'll not believe he's old or ill!
He goes on forming great designs,-
Has just laid in a stock of wines, –
And promises his niece a ball,
As if grey hairs would never fall!
I really think he's all but mad.”
Then, with a wink and sigh, you add,
“ Tom is a friend I dearly prize,
But-never thought him over wise !"

* I must confess that Dr. Swift
Has lent me here a little lift:
For when I steal some trilling hits
From older and from brighter wits,
I have some touch of conscience left,
And seldom like to hide the theft.
This is my plan; I name no name,
But wish all others did the same.

You—who are clever to foretell Where ignorance might be as well, Would marvel how my health has stood : My pulse is firm, digestion good, I walk to see my turnips grow, Manage to ride a mile or so, Get to the village church to pray, And drink my pint of wine a day; And often, in an idle mood, Emerging from my solitude, Look at my sheep, and geese, and fowls, And scare the sparrows and the owls, Or talk with Dick about my crops, And learn the price of malt and hops.

You say, that, when you saw me last, My appetite was going fast, My eye was dim, my cheek was pale, My bread—and stories—both were stale, My wine and wit were growing worse, And all things else, —except my purse; In short, the very blind might see I was not what I used to be.

My glass (which I believe before ye,) Will teach me quite another story; My wrinkles are not many yetMy hair is still as black as jetMy legs are full-my cheeks are ruddyMy eyes, though somewhat sunk by study,

Retain a most vivacious ray,
And tell no stories of decay;
And then my waist, -unvex’d, unstay'd
By fetters of the tailor's trade,-
Tells you, as plain as waist can tell,
I'm most unfashionably well.

And yet you think I'm growing thinner ! You'd stare to see me eat my dinner! You know that I was held by all The greatest epicure in Hall, And that the voice of Grahta's sons Styled me the Gourmand of St. John's; I have not yet been found unable To do my duty to my table, Though at its head no Lady gay Hath driven British food away, And made her hapless husband bear Alike her fury and her fare. If some kind-hearted chum calls in,An extra dish, an older bin, And John in all his finery drest, Do honor to the welcome guest; And then we talk of other times, Of parted friends, and distant climes, And lengthened converse, tale, and jest, Lull every anxious care to rest, And when unwillingly I rise, With newly-waken'd sympathies,

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