Requiem, on Discarding an Old Suit

Farewell, a long farewell, to my old breeches!
Farewell, sweet shabby coat and soup-stained vest!
Farewell, dear trousers, patched with careful stitches!
The good old suit, my wife says, has " gone West. "

These trousers which (my dear) you say disgraced me —
Which " furnace men would be too proud to wear " —
For twelve long months they lovingly embraced me.
When shall I see again so fine a pair?

They were the colour of tobacco ashes
(A pipe could never harm such pantaloons).
And they were camouflaged with stains and splashes,
Fond souvenir of feats with forks and spoons.

I knew by heart which pockets could be trusted,
And which let small change vanish through a hole;
Though ragged, baggy, wrinkled, mud-encrusted,
If ever breeks do, those breeks had a soul!

And now, dolled up in crass new coat and trousers,
Ashamed and sad, I pace the lonely street,
Unhappy in my finery, for now, sirs,
My friends will never know me when we meet!
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