Old Poets

 (For Robert Cortez Holliday)

If I should live in a forest
And sleep underneath a tree,
No grove of impudent saplings
Would make a home for me.
I'd go where the old oaks gather, Serene and good and strong, And they would not sigh and tremble And vex me with a song.
The pleasantest sort of poet Is the poet who's old and wise, With an old white beard and wrinkles About his kind old eyes.
For these young flippertigibbets A-rhyming their hours away They won't be still like honest men And listen to what you say.
The young poet screams forever About his sex and his soul; But the old man listens, and smokes his pipe, And polishes its bowl.
There should be a club for poets Who have come to seventy year.
They should sit in a great hall drinking Red wine and golden beer.
They would shuffle in of an evening, Each one to his cushioned seat, And there would be mellow talking And silence rich and sweet.
There is no peace to be taken With poets who are young, For they worry about the wars to be fought And the songs that must be sung.
But the old man knows that he's in his chair And that God's on His throne in the sky.
So he sits by the fire in comfort And he lets the world spin by.

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