When Life was all a summer day,

And I was under twenty,

Three loves were scattered in my way--

And three at once are plenty.

Three hearts, if offered with a grace,

One thinks not of refusing;

The task in this especial case

Was only that of choosing.

I knew not which to make my pet,--

My pipe, cigar, or cigarette.

To cheer my n
ght or glad my day

My pipe was ever willing;

The meerschaum or the lowly clay

Alike repaid the filling.

Grown men delight in blowing clouds,

As boys in blowing bubbles,

Our cares to puff away in crowds

And vanish all our troubles.

My pipe I nearly made my pet,

Above cigar or cigarette.

A tiny paper, tightly rolled

About some Latakia,

Contains within its magic fold

A mighty _panacea_.

Some thought of sorrow or of strife

At ev'ry whiff will vanish;

And all the scenery of life

Turn picturesquely Spanish.

But still I could not quite forget

Cigar and pipe for cigarette.

To yield an after-dinner puff

O'er _demi-tasse_ and brandy,

No cigarettes are strong enough,

No pipes are ever handy.

However fine may be the feed,

It only moves my laughter

Unless a dry delicious weed

Appears a little after.

A prime cigar I firmly set

Above a pipe or cigarette.

But after all I try in vain

To fetter my opinion;

Since each upon my giddy brain

Has boasted a dominion.

Comparisons I'll not provoke,

Lest _all_ should be offended.

Let this discussion end in smoke

As many more have ended.

And each I'll make a special pet;

My pipe, cigar, and cigarette.