BETA

Beranger to His Old Coat.

Be faithful still, thou poor dear coat of mine !1
We, step for step, are both becoming old.2
Ten years these hands have brushed that nap of thine,3
And Socrates did never more, I hold.4
When to fresh tear and wear the time to be5
Shall force thy sore-thinned texture to submit,6
Be philosophic and resist like me :7
Mine ancient friend, we must not sunder yet.8
Full well I mind, for I forget not much,9
The day that saw thee first upon me put :10
My birth-day ’ twas, and as a crowning touch11
Unto my pride, my friends all praised thy cut.12
Thy indigence, which does me no disgrace,13
Has never caused these kindly friends to flit.14
Each at my féte yet shows a gladsome face :15
Mine ancient friend, we must not sunder yet.16
A goodly darn I on thy skirts espy,17
And thereby hangs a sweet remembrance still.18
Feigning one eve from fond Lisette to fly,19
She held by thee to baulk my seeming will.20
The tug was followed by a grievous rent,21
And then her side of course I could not quit ;22
Two days Lisette on that vast darning spent :23
Mine ancient friend, we must not sunder yet.24
Have e’er I made thee reek with musky steams,25
Such as your self-admiring fools exhale ?26
Have I exposed thee, courting great men’s beams,27
To levee mock or antechamber rail ?28
A strife for ribbons all the land of France,29
From side to side, well nigh asunder split :30
From thy lapelle nothing but wild flowers glance :31
Mine ancient friend, we must not sunder yet.32
Fear no renewal of those courses vain,33
Those madcap sports which once employed our hours34
Hours of commingled joyfulness and pain,35
Of sunshine chequered here and there with showers.36
I rather ought, methinks, thy faded cloth37
From every future service to acquit :38
But wait a while—one end will come to both :39
Mine ancient friend, we shall not sunder yet.40