To-day I took old rhymes that I had written. And read them through, each one unto the end: When with a swift nostalgia was I smitten, As with sad memories of some old friend - Some happy, wayward man I used to know Long since. Alas! (And, by the way, heigh-ho!) All his, it seemed, these sudden, cheerful spasms Of humor poured from an untroubled mind, These old ambitions, old enthusiasms, When all the world seemed true, and men most kind: When roseate skies were never tinged with grey. Ah woe! (And, so to speak, alack-a-day!) All his these views so unsophisticated. These thoughts so innocent and yet so wise. Such minds as mine have never contemplated A world so free of guile, so free of lies, A world of woe and wickedness so free, Of misery! (And, as it were, ah me!) Not mine this intricate, yet careless weaving Of joyous rhymes? Not mine this happy twist? Surely not mine? 'Tis far beyond believing! Such songs come from some youthful optimist Who gaily danced along life's primrose way, And yet - (Well, once again, alack-a-day!) Yet they are mine, these merry, lilting phrases. Never again shall I pen such sweet lays! Never again shall I...But why the blazes Shouldn't I? (Odds fish! and spare me days!) Why shouldn't I? The time is surely ripe For verses far surpassing this old tripe!
First published in The Bulletin, 10 July 1924