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Smoking Poems

My Cigar.
In spite of my physician, who is, _entre nous_, a fogy, ...

A Song Without A Name.
AIR: "_THE VICAR OF BRAY_." 'Twas in Queen Bess's gold...

A Symphony In Smoke.
A pretty, piquant, pouting pet, Who likes to muse and ...

The Discovery Of Tobacco.
'Twas in the days of good Queen Bess,-- Or p'raps a ...

Sweet Smoking Pipe.
Sweet smoking pipe; bright glowing stove, Companion ...

In Wreaths Of Smoke.
In wreaths of smoke, blown waywardwise, Faces of o...

The Ballade Of Tobacco.
When verdant youth sees life afar, And first sets ou...

On A Broken Pipe.
Neglected now it lies, a cold clay form, So late with ...

A Pot, And A Pipe Of Tobacco.
Some praise taking snuff; And 'tis pleasant en...

My Pipe And I.
There may be comrades in this world, As stanch and t...

In Favor Of Tobacco.
Much victuals serves for gluttony To fatten men like s...

A Loss.
How hard a thing it is to part From those we love an...

The Pipe Critic.
Say, pipe, let's talk of love; Canst aid me?...

The Last Pipe.
When head is sick and brain doth swim, And heavy hangs...

Tobacco.
Let poets rhyme of what they will, Youth, Beauty, Love...

Motto For A Tobacco Jar.
Come! don't refuse sweet Nicotina's aid, But woo the...

A Poet's Pipe.
_FROM THE FRENCH OF CHARLES BAUDELAIRE._ A poet's pipe...

Smoke And Chess.
We were sitting at chess as the sun went down; And he,...

Latakia.
I. When all the panes are hung with frost, Wild wiz...

It May Be Weeds.
It may be weeds I've gathered too; But even weeds...



THE BETROTHED.








"_YOU MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN ME AND YOUR CIGAR._"

Open the old cigar-box, get me a Cuba stout,
For things are running crossways, and Maggie and I are out.

We quarrelled about Havanas--we fought o'er a good cheroot,
And I know she is exacting, and she says I am a brute.

Open the old cigar-box--let me consider a space;
In the soft blue veil of the vapor, musing on Maggie's face.

Maggie is pretty to look at,--Maggie's a loving lass,
But the prettiest cheeks must wrinkle, the truest of loves must
pass.

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 a while,--
Here is a mild Manilla,--there is a wifely smile.

Which is the better portion,--bondage bought with a ring,
Or a harem of dusky beauties, fifty tied in a string?

Counsellors cunning and silent--comforters true and tried,
And never a one of the fifty to sneer at a rival bride.

Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes,
Peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close.

This will the fifty give me, asking nought in return,
With only a _Suttee's_ passion,--to do their duty and burn.

This will the fifty give me. When they are spent and dead,
Five times other fifties shall be my servants instead.

The furrows of far-off Java, the isles of the Spanish Main,
When they hear my harem is empty, will send me my brides again.

I will take no heed to their raiment, nor food for their mouths
withal,
So long as the gulls are nesting, so long as the showers fall.

I will scent 'em with best vanilla, with tea will I temper their
hides,
And the Moor and the Mormon shall envy, who read of the tale of my
brides.

For Maggie has written a letter to give me my choice between
The wee little whimpering Love and the great god Nick o' Teen.

And I have been servant of Love for barely a twelve-month clear.
But I have been Priest of Partagas a matter of seven year;

And the gloom of my bachelor days is flecked with the cheery light
Of stumps that I burned to Friendship and Pleasure and Work and
Fight.

And I turn my eyes to the future that Maggie and I must prove,
But the only light on the marshes is the Will-o'-the-Wisp of Love.

Will it see me safe through my journey, or leave me bogged in the
mire?
Since a puff of tobacco can cloud it, shall I follow the fitful
fire?

Open the old cigar-box,--let me consider anew,--
Old friends, and who is Maggie that I should abandon _you_?

A million surplus Maggies are willing to bear the yoke;
And a woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a Smoke.

Light me another Cuba: I hold to my first-sworn vows,
If Maggie will have no rival, I'll have no Maggie for spouse!

RUDYARD KIPLING.





Next: ON A BROKEN PIPE.

Previous: SIC TRANSIT.



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