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The Centenarian

 Great Grandfather was ninety-nine
 And so it was our one dread,
That though his health was superfine
 He'd fail to make the hundred.
Though he was not a rolling stone No moss he seemed to gather: A patriarch of brawn and bone Was Great Grandfather.
He should have been senile and frail Instead of hale and hearty; But no, he loved a mug of ale, A boisterous old party.
'As frisky as a cold,' said he, 'A man's allotted span I've lived but now I plan to be A Centenarian.
' Then one night when I called on him Oh what a change I saw! His head was bowed, his eye was dim, Down-fallen was his jaw.
Said he: 'Leave me to die, I pray; I'm no more bloody use .
For in my mouth I found today-- A tooth that's loose.

by Robert William Service
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