"A FREE PUFF."
Do you remember when first we met?
I was turning twenty--well! I don't forget
How I walked along,
Humming a song
Across the fields and down the lane
By the country road, and back again
To the dear old farm--three miles or more--
And brought you home from the village store.
Summer was passing--don't you recall
The splendid harvest
we had that Fall,
And how when the Autumn died,--sober and brown,--
We trudged down the turnpike, and on to the town?
Sweet black brierwood pipe of mine!
If you were human you'd be half divine,
For when I've looked beyond the smoke, into your burning bowl
In times of need
You've been, indeed,
The only comfort, sweetest solace, of my overflowing soul.
We've been together nearly thirty years, old fellow!
And now, you must admit, we're both a trifle mellow.
We have had our share of joys and a deal of sorrows,
And while we're only waiting for a few more to-morrows,
Others will come, and others will go,
And Time will gather what Youth will sow;
But we together will go down the rough
Road to the end, and to the end--puff.
ARTHUR IRVING GRAY.