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The Centenarians Analysis

Author: poem of Robert Service Type: poem Views: 1

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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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