Old Poets
(For Robert Cortes Holliday)
If I should live in a forest
   And sleep underneath a tree,
No grove of impudent saplings
   Would make a home for me.
I’d go where the old oaks gather,
   Serene and good and strong,
And they would not sigh and tremble
   And vex me with a song.
The pleasantest sort of poet
   Is the poet who’s old and wise,
With an old white beard and wrinkles
   About his kind old eyes.
For these young flippertigibbets
   A-rhyming their hours away
They won’t be still like honest men
   And listen to what you say.
The young poet screams forever
   About his sex and his soul;
But the old man listens, and smokes his pipe,
   And polishes its bowl.
There should be a club for poets
   Who have come to seventy year.
They should sit in a great hall drinking
   Red wine and golden beer.
They would shuffle in of an evening,
   Each one to his cushioned seat,
And there would be mellow talking
   And silence rich and sweet.
There is no peace to be taken
   With poets who are young,
For they worry about the wars to be fought
   And the songs that must be sung.
But the old man knows that he’s in his chair
   And that God’s on His throne in the sky.
So he sits by the fire in comfort
   And he lets the world spin by.

Webpage © 2001 ELC
Lane Core Jr. (lane@elcore.net)
Created April 2, 2001; not revised.