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On his 70th Birthday

I read somewhere that Thomas Hardy claimed, with pride,
he’d had ‘full sexual intercourse’ at 84.
I’m 70 today. And will my life provide,
should I be spared, his fourteen lusty summers more?

A century has passed. Alas, we can’t discover
the youthful second Mrs Hardy’s point of view.
How was it for her, entered by her ancient lover:
pure bliss, or just a wifely ordeal to get through?

An old man’s libido’s a mighty strange address;
and yet I find I’m more than anxious to maintain it.
So let me, strictly confidentially, confess,
since ageing, so far, seems unable to restrain it,

that Horace hit the nail smartly on the head
with his ‘Naturam’ (he meant in and out of bed)
expellas furca’, pitchfork as we may, ‘tamen
usque recurret
’ (thank God) time and time again.