Of bosom friends I’ve had but seven,
Despite my years are ripe;
I hope they’re now enjoying Heaven,
Although they’re not the type;
Nor, candidly, no more am I,
Though overdue to die.
For looking back I see that they
Were weak and wasteful men;
They loved a sultry jest alway,
And women now and then.
They smoked and gambled, soused and swore,
–Yet no one was a bore.
‘Tis strange I took to lads like these,
On whom the good should frown;
Yet all with poetry would please
To wash his wassail down;
Their temples touched the starry way,
But O what feet of clay!
Well, all are dust, of fame bereft;
They bore a cruel cross,
And I, the canny one, am left,–
Yet as I grieve their loss,
I deem, because they loved me well,
They’ll welcome me in Hell.