A tale from out my western life you say?
Something to while the Christmas Eve away;
And something, too, to suit this festal time,
With two old bachelors, long past their prime,
Who as they sip in solitude their wine,
Are filled with memories of Auld Lang Syne?
Well,—I grant it. Yet why did you add,
Something to suit the time? I shall be glad—
But was the last a tongue slip? Let it go.
Still, why I asked, the tale will clearly show.
As I proceed and still you care to hear,
You'll find it suits this night of all the year.
Oh, yes! to fill your wish I'm full inclined,
I need but voice the thoughts within my mind,
And then the task's completed. All comes back
On every Christmas Eve, I never lack
Of food for thought. That time I'll ne'er forget
In future years, though distant may be set
My time for going. When my younger mate—
But why as writers say—anticipate?
You'll find the tale, perhaps, a trifle sad,
When every dictum says it should be glad.
And—hope the last will not astonish you—
Once in a while a little preachy, too.
And mixed with love, a subject—well, heigh, ho!
Something that we are not supposed to know.