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The Good Old Ways

by Ellwood Roberts

Who has not been disgusted oft
Because of senseless change;
And rising indignation felt
At fashions new and strange?
How much unlike the customs old
Are those of modern days!
No wonder they sometimes complain,
Who love the good old ways.

The men and women years ago,
Were happy in their way;
They had their troubles, great and small,
But not like ours to-day.
They came and went as pleased themselves,
And gave but little care
To trifling matters such as vex
And drive us to despair.

Decrees of fashion in their day,
Were held in light esteem;
Just like their fathers did before,
They floated down life's stream.
They viewed with more respect than we
The customs of the past;
A race too slow were they, I own;
May we not live too fast?

Each generation, we are told,
Is wiser than the last;
We would not, if we could, recall
The years forever past;
Where'er we go, from day to day,
We find improvements vast;
And thankful we our lot on earth
In such an age was cast.

But much we see, around us here,
That merits little praise;
The simpler forms of speech are gone,
The unaffected phrase.
Mankind love change; they lightly hold
Bequests of former days,
Nor think how much of good they lose
In leaving good old ways.

Some live, 'tis said, before their time,
And others much too late;
Let not these last bewail the fact,
Nor murmur at their fate;
For still we will to them concede—
These changeful modern days—
That they must not be blamed because
They love the good old ways.

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