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Thirty-nine

by
 O hapless day! O wretched day!
I hoped you'd pass me by--
Alas, the years have sneaked away
And all is changed but I!
Had I the power, I would remand
You to a gloom condign,
But here you've crept upon me and
I--I am thirty-nine!

Now, were I thirty-five, I could
Assume a flippant guise;
Or, were I forty years, I should
Undoubtedly look wise;
For forty years are said to bring
Sedateness superfine;
But thirty-nine don't mean a thing--
À bas with thirty-nine!

You healthy, hulking girls and boys,--
What makes you grow so fast?
Oh, I'll survive your lusty noise--
I'm tough and bound to last!
No, no--I'm old and withered too--
I feel my powers decline
(Yet none believes this can be true
Of one at thirty-nine).
And you, dear girl with velvet eyes, I wonder what you mean Through all our keen anxieties By keeping sweet sixteen.
With your dear love to warm my heart, Wretch were I to repine; I was but jesting at the start-- I'm glad I'm thirty-nine! So, little children, roar and race As blithely as you can, And, sweetheart, let your tender grace Exalt the Day and Man; For then these factors (I'll engage) All subtly shall combine To make both juvenile and sage The one who's thirty-nine! Yes, after all, I'm free to say I would much rather be Standing as I do stand to-day, 'Twixt devil and deep sea; For though my face be dark with care Or with a grimace shine, Each haply falls unto my share, For I am thirty-nine! 'Tis passing meet to make good cheer And lord it like a king, Since only once we catch the year That doesn't mean a thing.
O happy day! O gracious day! I pledge thee in this wine-- Come, let us journey on our way A year, good Thirty-Nine!

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