Donec gratus eram

after Horace, Odes, III.ix.

So long as 'twuz me alone
An’ there wasn’t no other chaps,
I was praoud as a King on 'is throne—
Happier tu, per’aps.
So long as 'twuz only I
An’ there wasn’t no other she
Yeou cared for so much—surely
I was glad as could be.
But now I’m in love with Jane Pritt—
She can play the piano, she can;
An’ if dyin’ ‘ud ’elp 'er a bit
I’d die laike a man.
Yeou’m like me. I’m in love with young Frye
Him as lives out to Appledore Quay;
An’ if dyin"ud ‘elp ’im I’d die
Twice ower for he.
But s’posin’ I threwed up Jane
An’ niver went walkin’ with she—
And come back to yeou again—
How 'ud that be?
Frye’s sober. Yeou’ve allus done badly
An’ yeou shifts like cut net—floats, yeou du:
But—I’d throw that young Frye ower gladly
An’ low 'ee right thru!
Other works by Rudyard Kipling...