O hapless day! O wretched day! I hoped you'd pass me by-- Alas, the years have sneaked away And all is changed but I! Had I the power, I would remand You to a gloom condign, But here you've crept upon me and I--I am thirty-nine!
Now, were I thirty-five, I could Assume a flippant guise; Or, were I forty years, I should Undoubtedly look wise; For forty years are said to bring Sedateness superfine; But thirty-nine don't mean a thing-- À bas with thirty-nine!
You healthy, hulking girls and boys,-- What makes you grow so fast? Oh, I'll survive your lusty noise-- I'm tough and bound to last! No, no--I'm old and withered too-- I feel my powers decline (Yet none believes this can be true Of one at thirty-nine).
And you, dear girl with velvet eyes, I wonder what you mean Through all our keen anxieties By keeping sweet sixteen. With your dear love to warm my heart, Wretch were I to repine; I was but jesting at the start-- I'm glad I'm thirty-nine!
So, little children, roar and race As blithely as you can, And, sweetheart, let your tender grace Exalt the Day and Man; For then these factors (I'll engage) All subtly shall combine To make both juvenile and sage The one who's thirty-nine!
Yes, after all, I'm free to say I would much rather be Standing as I do stand to-day, 'Twixt devil and deep sea; For though my face be dark with care Or with a grimace shine, Each haply falls unto my share, For I am thirty-nine!
'Tis passing meet to make good cheer And lord it like a king, Since only once we catch the year That doesn't mean a thing. O happy day! O gracious day! I pledge thee in this wine-- Come, let us journey on our way A year, good Thirty-Nine!