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Lucius Atherton

  WHEN my moustache curled,
  And my hair was black,
  And I wore tight trousers
  And a diamond stud,
  I was an excellent knave of hearts and took many a trick.
  But when the gray hairs began to appear—
  Lo! a new generation of girls
  Laughed at me, not fearing me,
  And I had no more exciting adventures
  Wherein I was all but shot for a heartless devil,
  But only drabby affairs, warmed-over affairs
  Of other days and other men.
  And time went on until I lived at
  Mayer's restaurant,
  Partaking of short-orders, a gray, untidy,
  Toothless, discarded, rural Don Juan. . . .
  There is a mighty shade here who sings
  Of one named Beatrice;
  And I see now that the force that made him great
  Drove me to the dregs of life.