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Owen Seaman (Оуэн Симен)


To an Old Fogey


(Who Contends that Christmas is Played Out)

O frankly bald and obviously stout!
  And so you find that Christmas as a fete
Dispassionately viewed, is getting out
            Of date.

The studied festal air is overdone;
  The humour of it grows a little thin;
You fail, in fact, to gather where the fun
            Comes in.

Visions of very heavy meals arise
  That tend to make your organism shiver;
Roast beef that irks, and pies that agonise
            The liver;

Those pies at which you annually wince,
  Hearing the tale how happy months will follow
Proportioned to the total mass of mince
            You swallow.

Visions of youth whose reverence is scant,
  Who with the brutal verve of boyhood's prime
Insist on being taken to the pant-
            omime.

Of infants, sitting up extremely late,
  Who run you on toboggans down the stair;
Or make you fetch a rug and simulate
            A bear.

This takes your faultless trousers at the knees,
  The other hurts them rather more behind;
And both effect a fracture in your ease
            Of mind.

My good dyspeptic, this will never do;
  Your weary withers must be sadly wrung!
Yet once I well believe that even you
            Were young.

Time was when you devoured, like other boys,
  Plum-pudding sequent on a turkey-hen;
With cracker-mottos hinting of the joys
            Of men.

Time Was when 'mid the maidens you would pull
  The fiery raisin with profound delight;
When sprigs of mistletoe seemed beautiful
            And right.

Old Christmas changes not! Long, long ago
  He won the treasure of eternal youth;
Yours is the dotage—if you want to know
            The truth.

Come, now, I'll cure your case, and ask no fee:—
  Make others' happiness this once your own;
All else may pass: that joy can never be
            Outgrown!



Owen Seaman's other poems:
  1. Yet
  2. To Belgium in Exile
  3. Thomas of the Light Heart
  4. The Uses of Ocean
  5. To the Memory of Field-Marshall Earl Roberts


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