Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO MY OLD ARMCHAIR, by HENRY CHAPPELL



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TO MY OLD ARMCHAIR, by            
First Line: Well, well, old friend, we've had some jolly / times
Last Line: And have no qualms about an old age pension.
Subject(s): Friendship; Old Age


WELL, well, old friend, we've had some jolly times
Just you and I, with some "Egyptian" best.
Within your arms I've strung the doubtful rhymes
That plagued the public and disturbed its rest.
Thro' fragrant smoke wreaths, visions came apace.
Past, Present, Future, wantoned in my brain,
Striving as ladies do for pride of place
Where bargains lurk in lingerie and delaine,
But by the way, I feel compelled to speak,
Your legs get worse with that confounded creak.

Still to resume, the visions frolicked round,
Some quite urbane, and some with antics sinister,
(Deem not in me, dear reader, you have found
A subject ripe for medico or minister).
What tho' their colours differed and their shape,
Some flaunting rags, some seeming fairly wealthy,
Not one owed birth to nectar of the grape
Which for a moral scribe is most unhealthy.
O hang it all, you've got a beastly flaw,
Your back is squeaking like a rusty saw.

I'll try again, we've conjured from the smoke
Utopian joys, and imps that smacked of Hades,
While anon there upon our vision broke
A most disturbing coterie of lovely ladies,
Whose pardon I must beg with great contrition
And may I add the usual "grant your grace."
'Tis but an index of my ill condition
In rhyming you with such a sultry place;
Good Lord, how can I write or mould a thesis
Your blessed spring is broken all to pieces.

Dreams we have had of modest cheques accruing
From these our labours, in the realm of spooks;
The postman passing, wife says "Nothing doing,
I thought you'd like to see the tradesmen's books."
O shades of Shakespeare, Byron, Burns and Keats,
The tradesmen's books thrust on the sacred nine,
The prices (very high) of carnal meats
Jumbled with that afflatus called divine,
Such impious deeds must bring about disaster.
Great Scot, there goes your one surviving caster.

My Muse hath fled, nor can I greatly blame her,
No well-bred Muse had any other choice.
You'll note the sad effect of her disclaimer
Upon the lilt and rhythm of my voice.
Quenched is the flaming torch of inspiration,
My scintillating style's entirely flown;
It seems as tho' a lack of respiration
Throttles each word I try "upon my own,"
Therefore must I eschewing old ambitions
Essay the task of piling up munitions.

Alack-a-day, we're growing old together,
The hair falls from your arms and eke my head:
With last remaining locks I strive to feather
The pinky patch that ever seems to spread.
And you, no spring or casters, limbs rheumatic,
'Twere quite unfair to ask you to bear more.
Go, in the webby gloom of some quiet attic
Creak to the spiders all our dreams of yore.
Unlike myself you fear not stocks' declension,
And have no qualms about an old age pension.





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