A Poem about Methuselah
Methuselah lived long ago—
He was the Old Inhabitant
Those times, but never had a show;
His opportunities were scant.
Although he lived nine centuries
And three-score years and nine beside,
The times he saw were not like these,
A chance to spread he was denied.
He could not seek the corner store
And lunch on crackers, cheese and prunes,
And there display his helpful lore
Through mornings and through afternoons;
He could not talk about the days
When folks first saw the telegraph
Or telephone; how their amaze
Made better posted people laugh.
He could not take the stranger out
To some tall building, then say: “Here,
An’ for a good ways hereabout,
I used to shoot the bear and deer.”
Skyscrapers were an unknown thing,
Excepting Babel, in his land,
And Babel only served to bring
Speech that he could not understand.
(Perhaps this Babel item is
Anachronistic; as to that
We’ll say one pleasant thing was his:
He never had to rent a flat.)
Another joy in his career
Was this: nobody ever told
Methuselah the stated year
When he should be considered old.
At thirty-five he was not barred
From working if he wanted to;
He did not need a union card
His daily labors to pursue;
And when his hair was snowy white
And age his manly form had bent,
Nobody called him young and bright
And ran him for vice-president.