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The Centenarians

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Written by Robert William Service

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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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