From the Evening Star, February 26, 1913. By Walt Mason. I would not care to live, my dears Much more than seven hundred years If I should last that long; For I would tire of things in time And life at last would seem a crime And I a public wrong. Old Gaffer Goodworth, whom you know Was born a hundred years ago And states the fact with mirth; He’s rather proud that he has hung Around so long while old and young Were falling off the earth. But when his boastful fit is gone A sadness comes his face upon That speaks of utter woe; He sits and broods and dreams again Of vanished days, of long dead men, His friends of long ago. There is no loneliness so dread As that of one who mourns his dead In white and wintry age; Who when the lights extinguished are The other players scattered far Still lingers on the stage. There is no solitude so deep As that of him whose friends, asleep Shall visit him no more; Shall never ask, “How do you stack,” Or slap him gaily on the back As in the days of yore. I do not wish to draw my breath Until the papers say that death Has passed me up for keeps; When I am tired I want to die And in my cozy casket lie As one who calmly sleeps. When I am tired of dross and gold When I am tired of heat and cold And happiness has waned, I want to show the neighbor folk How gracefully a man can croak When he’s correctly trained.