Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON AN OLD MUFF, by FREDERICK LOCKER-LAMPSON



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ON AN OLD MUFF, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Time has a magic wand
Last Line: Hard in my garden.
Alternate Author Name(s): Locker, Frederick
Subject(s): Gloves; Women; Mittens; Muffs


TIME has a magic wand!
What is this meets my hand,
Moth-eaten, mouldy, and
Covered with fluff,
Faded and stiff and scant?
Can it be? no, it can't, --
Yes, -- I declare 't is Aunt
Prudence's Muff!

Years ago -- twenty-three!
Old Uncle Barnaby
Gave it to Aunty P.,
Laughing and teasing, --
"Pru. of the breezy curls,
Whisper these solemn churls,
What holds a pretty girl's
Hand without squeezing?"

Uncle was then a lad,
Gay, but, I grieve to add,
Gone to what's called "the bad," --
Smoking, -- and worse!
Sleek sable then was this
Muff, lined with pinkiness, --
Bloom to which beauty is
Seldom averse.

I see in retrospect
Aunt, in her best bedecked,
Gliding, with mien erect,
Gravely to meeting:
Psalm-book, and kerchief new,
Peeped from the Muff of Pru.,
Young men -- and pious, too --
Giving her greeting.

Pure was the life she led
Then: from her Muff, 't is said,
Tracts she distributed; --
Scapegraces many,
Seeing the grace they lacked,
Followed her; one attacked
Prudence, and got his tract,
Oftener than any!

Love has a potent spell!
Soon this bold ne'er-do-well,
Aunt's sweet susceptible
Heart undermining,
Slipped, so the scandal runs,
Notes in the pretty nun's
Muff, -- triple-cornered ones, --
Pink as its lining!

Worse, even, soon the jade
Fled (to oblige her blade!)
Whilst her friends thought that they'd
Locked her up tightly:
After such shocking games,
Aunt is of wedded dames
Gayest, -- and now her name's
Mrs. Golightly.

In female conduct flaw
Sadder I never saw,
Still I've faith in the law
Of compensation.
Once uncle went astray, --
Smoked, joked, and swore away;
Sworn by he's now, by a
Large congregation!

Changed is the child of sin;
Now he's (he once was thin)
Grave, with a double chin, --
Blest be his fat form!
Changed is the garb he wore:
Preacher was never more
Prized than is uncle for
Pulpit or platform.

If all's as best befits
Mortals of slender wits,
Then beg this Muff, and its
Fair owner pardon;
All's for the best, -- indeed,
Such is my simple creed;
Still I must go and weed
Hard in my garden.




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