Page:Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads, Kipling, 1899.djvu/109

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THE BETROTHED

There's peace in a Laranaga, there's calm in a Henry Clay,
But the best cigar in an hour is finished and thrown away—


Thrown away for another as perfect and ripe and brown—
But I could not throw away Maggie for fear o' the talk o' the town!


Maggie, my wife at fifty—gray and dour and old—
With never another Maggie to purchase for love or gold!


And the light of Days that have Been the dark of the Days that Are,
And Love's torch stinking and stale, like the butt of a dead cigar—


The butt of a dead cigar you are bound to keep in your pocket—
With never a new one to light tho' it's charred and black to the socket.


Open the old cigar-box—let me consider awhile—
Here is a mild Manilla—there is a wifely smile.