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Henry Sambrooke Leigh (Генри Самбрук Ли)


My Three Loves


When Life was all a summer day,
And I was under twenty,
Three loves were scattered in my way—
And three at once are plenty.
Three hearts, if offered with a grace,
One thinks not of refusing;
The task in this especial case
Was only that of choosing.
I knew not which to make my pet,—
My pipe, cigar, or cigarette.

To cheer my night or glad my day
My pipe was ever willing;
The meerschaum or the lowly clay
Alike repaid the filling.
Grown men delight in blowing clouds,
As boys in blowing bubbles,
Our cares to puff away in crowds
And vanish all our troubles.
My pipe I nearly made my pet,
Above cigar or cigarette.

A tiny paper, tightly rolled
About some Latakia,
Contains within its magic fold
A mighty panacea.
Some thought of sorrow or of strife
At ev'ry whiff will vanish;
And all the scenery of life
Turn picturesquely Spanish.
But still I could not quite forget
Cigar and pipe for cigarette.

To yield an after-dinner puff
O'er demi-tasse and brandy,
No cigarettes are strong enough,
No pipes are ever handy.
However fine may be the feed,
It only moves my laughter
Unless a dry delicious weed
Appears a little after.
A prime cigar I firmly set
Above a pipe or cigarette.

But after all I try in vain
To fetter my opinion;
Since each upon my giddy brain
Has boasted a dominion.
Comparisons I'll not provoke,
Lest all should be offended.
Let this discussion end in smoke
As many more have ended.
And each I'll make a special pet;
My pipe, cigar, and cigarette.



Henry Sambrooke Leigh's other poems:
  1. Rhymes?
  2. My After-Dinner Cloud
  3. A Scientific Drinking Song
  4. БлизнецыThe Twins


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