The Maid of the Meeerschaum

Nude nymph, when from Neuberg's' I led her 
  In velvet enshrined and encased,
When with raret Virginia I fed her, 
  And pampered each maidenly taste
On 'Old Judge' and 'Lone Jack' and brown 'Bird's-eye 
  The best that a mortal might get—
Did she know how, from whiteness of curds, 
  I should tum her to jet?

She was blond and impassive and stately 
  When first our acquaintance began,
When she smiled from the pipe-bowl sedately 
  On the 'Stunt'   who was scarcely a man.
But labuntur anni fugaces, 
  And changed in due season were we, 
For she wears the blackest of faces,
  And I'm a D.C.

Unfailing the comfort she gave me
  In the days when I owned to a heart, 
When the charmers that used to enslave me
  For Home or the Hills would depart.
She was Polly or Agnes or Kitty
  (Whoever pro tem was my flame),
And I found her most ready to pity,
  And—always  the same.

At dawn, when the pig broke from cover,
  At noon, when the pleaders were met,
She clung to the lips of her lover 
  As never live maiden did yet;
At the Bund, when I waited the far light
  That brought me my mails o'er the main—
At night, when the tents, in the starlight,
  Showed white on the plain.

And now, though each finely cut feature 
  Is flattened and polished away,
I hold her the loveliest creature
  That ever was fashioned from clay.
Let an epitaph thus, then, be wrought for 
  Her tomb, when the smash shall arrive:
'Hic jacet  the life's love I bought for 
  Rupees twenty-five.'

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