For New Year, Postumus, ten years ago,
You sent me four pounds of good silver-plate.
The next year, hoping for a rise in weight,
(For gifts should either stay the same or grow),
I got two pounds. The Third and fourth produced
Inferior presents, and the fifth year's weighed
Only a point - Septicus' work, ill-made
Into the bargain. Next I was reduced
To an eight-ounce oblong salad-platter; soon
It was a miniature cup that topped the scales
At even less. A tiny two-ounce spoon
Was the eighth year's surprise. The ninth, at length,
And grudgingly, disgorged a pick for snails
Lighter than a needle. Now, I note, the tenth
Has come and gone with nothing in its train.
I miss the old four pounds. Let's start again!