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The Smoker's Year Book

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JANUARY   Now Time the harvester surveys His sorry crops of yesterdays; Of trampled hopes and reaped regrets, And for another harvest whets His ancient scythe, eying the while The budding year with cynic smile. Well, let him smile; in snug retreat I fill my pipe with honeyed sweet, Whose incense wafted from the bowl Shall make warm sunshine in my soul, And conjure mid the fragrant haze Fair memories of other days.   FEBRUARY   Bend you now before the shrine Of the good Saint Valentine. Show to him your broken heart— Pray the Saint to take your part. Should he intercede in vain And the maid your heart disdain, Call upon Saint Nicotine; He will surely intervene. Bring burnt off'ring to his feet, Incense of Havana, sweet. Then the maiden's shade invoke, It will disappear in smoke!   MARCH   Here comes bluff March—a cross between A Jester and a Libertine. He loves to make the parson race With wicked words his hat to chase; To dye with compromising rose The pious man's abstemious nose. The ladies hate him, though he shows A pretty taste for silken hose. The smoker views him with distrust, Shielding his last match from his gust. But once alight—his holy joy No blast from Heaven can destroy!   APRIL   Lady April, it is clear, Is the spoilt child of the Year. See her tears about to start— Thus she melts old Winter's heart. Now the gay deceiving thing Turns and plays the deuce with Spring. Winter lingers at her gate; Spring grows chilly and irate. I'd go home if I were he— It is just such girls as she Make a fellow thank his stars For the solace of cigars.   MAY   Like Brunhilda, May is won By the kisses of the Sun. Siegfried like, the maid he takes In his arms and she awakes To the tender piping sound Of the birds—while all around In a magic fire ring Purple flames of Crocus spring. Now I fill my fragrant briar, Lo! it glows with gentle fire, Wafting scented wreaths of love To the little leaves above.   JUNE   "What so rare as a day in June?" Thus I heard the poet croon, To the month of roses sweet, His song with barometric feet. Perfect days I own are rare— All depends on how you fare. Can a day be perfect to The rose that has not sipped the dew? Can the Bee, do you suppose, Hum, that has not sipped the rose? Can there be for Man, I say, Without a smoke, a perfect day?   JULY   Red rockets skyward rush pell-mell And fill the night with noise and smell. The stars of Heaven look down, and say: "So this is Independence Day! Poor earth-born stars, it makes us sad To see your fire work like mad To make a Human Holiday. Where is your independence, pray?"— Whereat I woke—my fire was low, My pipe was out. Said I: "Heigho! I never thought of it that way, I'll give them both a holiday."   AUGUST   Drowsing o'er my sainted briar, Dreaming dreams of Heart's Desire, Dreaming 'neath the August sun, Thus my meditations run— What if that great Ember bright Were a monster Pipe alight, Or the glowing from afar Of some Fire-God's cigar...?