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This poem is often wrongly thought to be by Robert W Service. It is published here to the memory of Hugh Antoine D'Arcy, its rightful father.
An Evening with the Bard of the Yukon, July 18 th 2003 at 20.30pm in the Town-Hall of Lancieux, Brittany.
All Entries 1997 - 2002
All Entries 2002
Odds and Ends, Other Items Of Interest About Robert

The Centenarians

Published by Susan on 08/08/2003 (2832 reads)
I asked of ancient gaffers three...

I asked of ancient gaffers three
         The way of their ripe living,
And this is what they told to me
         Without Misgiving.


The First : 'The why I've lived so long,
         To my fond recollection
Is that for women, wine and song
         I've had a predilection.
Full many a bawdy stave I've sung
         With wenches of my choosing,
But of the joys that kept me young
         The best was boozing.'

The Second : 'I'm a sage revered
         Because I was a fool
And with the bourgeon of my beard
         I kept my ardour cool.
On health I have conserved my hold
         By never dissipating:
And that is why a hundred old
         I'm celebrating.'

The Third : 'The explanation I
         Have been so long a-olding,
Is that to wash I never try,
         Despite conjugal scolding.
I hate the sight of soap and so
         I seldom change my shirt:
Believe me, Brother, there is no
         Preservative like dirt.'

So there you have the reasons three
         Why age may you rejoice:
Booze, squalour and temerity,--
         Well, you may take your choice.
Yet let me say, although it may
         Your egoism hurt,
Of all the three it seems to me
         The best is DIRT.

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