A Ballade of Old Presents

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A BALLADE OF OLD PRESENTS

THE mouchoir-case, lace-trimmed, beflecked
With pink rosettes or azure bows;
The shaving-pad, its cover decked
With mottoes, thoughtful or jocose;
The slippers, on whose velvet toes
Forget-me-nots and heartsease rear
Suggestive heads—where, where are those?
Where are the gifts of yesteryear?

The smoking-jacket, "chic, select,"
The cushion labeled " sweet repose"
(How oft has its protuberance checked
An idle youth's desire to doze!)
Silk, scented "hangers," rows on rows;
Shoe-bags and travelers' toilet-gear,
And "daily thoughts" in rime and prose—
Where are the gifts of yesteryear?

The quilted muffler, to protect
A manly chest against the snows;
Suspenders—painted!—for the Elect,
And collar-bags for lesser beaus—
Are these but dust the sad wind blows
To cosmic voids beyond our sphere?
Oh, ye who wrought them, which maid knows
Where are the gifts of yesteryear?

ENVOY
Princess, or nymph less grandiose,
Prithee refrain, though men be dear,
From Yuletide toil till they disclose
Where are the gifts of yesteryear!

Anne O'Hagan

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924.


The author died in 1933, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.