Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Old Tom


The harridan who holds the inn
At which I toss a pot,
Is old and uglier than sin,--
I'm glad she knows me not.
Indeed, for me it's hard to think,
Although my pow's like snow,
She was the lass so fresh and pink
I courted long ago.

I wronged her, yet it's sadly true
She wanted to be wronged:
They mostly do, although 'tis you,
The male bloke who is thonged.
Well, anyway I left her then
To sail across the sea,
And no doubt she had other men,
And soon lost sight of me.

So now she is a paunchy dame
And mistress of the inn,
With temper tart and tounge to blame,
Moustache and triple chin.
And though I have no proper home
Contentedly I purr,
And from my whiskers wipe the foam,
--Glad I did not wed her.

Yet it's so funny sitting here
To stare into her face;
And as I raise my mug of beer
I dream of our disgrace.
And so I come and come each day
To more and more enjoy
The joke--that fifty years away
I was her honey boy.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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