Thirty Years After

Two old St. Andrews men, after a separation of nearly thirty years, meet by chance at a wayside inn. They interchange experiences; and at length one of them, who is an admirer of Mr. Swinburne's Poems and Ballads, speaks as follows:

If you were now a bejant,
And I a first year man,
We'd grind and grub together
In every kind of weather,
When Winter's snows were regent,
Or when the Spring began;
If you were now a bejant,
And I a first year man.

If you were what you once were,
And I the same man still,
You'd be the gainer by it,
For you—you can't deny it—
A most uncommon dunce were;
My profit would be nil,
If you were what you once were,
And I the same man still.

If you were last in Latin,
And I were first in Greek,
I'd write your Latin proses,
While you indulged in dozes,
Or carved the bench you sat in,
So innocent and meek;
If you were last in Latin,
And I were first in Greek.

If I had got a prize, Jim,
And your certif. was bad,
And you were filled with sorrow
And brooding on the morrow,
I'd gently sympathise, Jim,
And bid you not be sad,
If I had got a prize, Jim,
And your certif. was bad.

If I were through in Moral,
And you were spun in Math.,
I'd break it to your parent,
When you confessed you daren't,
And so avert a quarrel
And smooth away his wrath;
If I were through in Moral,
And you were spun in Math.

My prospects rather shone, Jim,
And yours were rather dark,
And those who knew us both then
Would often take their oath then,
That you would not get on, Jim,
While I should make my mark;
My prospects rather shone, Jim,
And yours were rather dark.

Yet somehow you've made money,
And I am still obscure;
Your face is round and red, Jim,
While I look underfed, Jim;
The thing's extremely funny,
And beats me, I am sure,
Yet somehow you've made money,
And I am still obscure.

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"Thirty Years After" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 2 Jul 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/31066/thirty-years-after>.

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