Friday, September 14, 2018

My vices have abandoned me

by Robert Service

I vowed my vices to give up
ere I attained senility;
to much indulgence in the cup,
Or violent virility.
My appetite I would restrain
From everything I think that nice is:
In short, although it gave me pain
I'd jettison my favourite vices.

Alas! Deploringly I find,
Though I have run to eighty winters,
To toss the tankard I've no mind,
And closed my credit at the vintners.
A female leg is just a stem,
And with astringent eyes I see
Instead of me renouncing them,
My vices have deserted me.

And yet I make a pretty bluff
That I'm a most sagacious man,
Who knows when I have had enough
Of things that old folks ought to ban.
And looking at my shriveled shanks
That led me off on many a spree,
I give my guardian angel thanks
My vices have abandoned me.
A variant on St. Augustine of Hippo's prayer:
Give me chastity and continence, but not right now.

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