I used to think a pot of ink Held magic in its fluid, And I would ply a pen when I Was hoary a a Druid; But as I scratch my silver thatch My battered old Corona Calls out to me as plaintively As dying Desdemona.
"For old time's sake give me a break: To you I've been as loyal As ever could an Underwood, Or Remington or Royal. The globe we've spanned together and Two million words, maybe, For you I've tapped - it's time you rapped A rhyme or two for me.
"I've seen you sit and smoke and spit With expletives profane, Then tear with rage the virgin page I tendered you in vain. I've watched you glare in dull despair Through hours of brooding thought, Then with a shout bang gaily out The 'word unique' you sought.
"I've heard you groan and grunt and moan That rhyme's a wretched fetter; That after all you're just a small Fat-headed verse-begetter; You'd balance me upon your knee Like any lady friend, Then with a sigh you'd lay me by For weeks and weeks on end.
"I've known when you were mighty blue And hammered me till dawn, Dire poverty! But I would be The last thing you would pawn. Days debt-accurst! Then at its worst The sky, behold, would clear; A poem sold, the garret cold Would leap to light and cheer.
"You've toted me by shore and sea From Mexico to Maine; From Old Cathay to Mandalay, From Samarkand to Spain. You've thumped me in the battle's din And pounded me in peace; By air and land you've lugged me and Your shabby old valise.
"But now my keys no more with ease To your two fingers yield; With years of use my joints are loose, With wear of flood and field. And even you are slipping too: You're puffy, stiff and grey: Old Sport, we're done, our race is run - Why not call it a day?"
Why not? You've been, poor old machine! My tried and faithful friend. With fingertip your keys I'll flip Serenely to the end. For even though you're stiff and slow, No other will I buy. And though each word be wan and blurred I'll tap you till I die.