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My room is the one where they clatter
Am I reading, or writing, what matter!
My knee is the one for a trot,
My foot is the stirrup for Dot.
If his fractions get into a snarl
Who straightens the tangles for Karl ?
Who bounds Massachusetts and Maine,
And tries to bound flimsy old Spain !
It is 1,
Not little mamma!
That the youngsters are ingrates don't say.
I think they love me - in a way —
As one does the old clock on the stair, —
Any curious, cumbrous affair
That one's used to having about,
And would feel rather lonely without.
I think that they love me, I say,
In a sort of tolerant way;
But it's plain that papa
Isn't little mamma.
Thus when shadows come stealing anear,
And things in the firelight look queer;
When shadows the play-room enwrap,
They never climb into my lap
And toy with my head, smooth and bare,
As they do with mamma's shining hair ;
Nor feel round my throat and my chin
For dimples to put fingers in ;
Nor lock my neck in a loving vise
And say they're “mousies ” — that's mice -
And will nibble my ears,
Will nibble and bite
With their little mice-teeth, so sharp and so white,
If I do not kiss them this very minute -
Dear little papa!
That's what they say and do to mamma.
If, mildly hinting, I quietly say that
Kissing's a game that more can play at,
They turn up at once those innocent eyes
And I suddenly learn to my great surprise
That my face has “prickles”.
My moustache tickles. If storming their camp I seize a pert shaver, And take as a right what was asked as a favor,
It is, “O Papa,
How horrid you are —
You taste exactly like a cigar!”
But though the rebels protest and pout,
And make a pretence of driving me out,
I hold, after all, the main redoubt,
Not by force of arms nor the force of will,
But the power of love, which is mightier still.
And very deep in their hearts, I know,
Under the saucy and petulant “Oh,”
The doubtful “Yes,” or the naughty “No,"
They love papa.
And down in the heart that no one sees,
Where I hold my feasts and my jubilees,
I know that I would not abate one jot
Of the love that is held by my little Dot
Or my great big boy for their little mamma,
Though out in the cold it crowded papa.
I would not abate it the tiniest whit,
And I am not jealous the least little bit;
For I'll tell you a secret: Come, my dears,
And I'll whisper it — right-into-your-ears
I too love mamma,
WHERE's my baby? Where's my baby ?
But a little while ago,
In my arms I held one fondly.
And a robe of lengthened flow
Covered little knees so dimpled
And each pink and chubby toe.
Where's my baby? I remember
Now about the shoes so red
Peeping from the shortened dresses,
And the first sweet words he said ;
And the little teeth so pearly,
And the bright curls on his head.
Where's my baby ? In the door-yard
Is a boy with shingled hair,
Whittling as he tries to whistle
With a big boy's manly air,
With his trousers in his boot-tops,
But my baby is not there.
Where's my baby? Where's my baby?
Ah! the years fly on apace!
Yesterday I held and kissed it
In its loveliness and grace ;
But tomorrow sturdy manhood
Takes the little baby's place.
LITTLE Orphant Annie's come to our house to stay,
An' wash the cups an’ saucers up, an' brush the crumbs
away, An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the
hearth, an' sweep, An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn her
board-an’-keep; An' all us other children, when the supper things is
We set around the kitchen fire an' has the mostest
A-list'nin' to the witch tales 'at Annie tells about,
An' the gobble-uns 'at gits you
Onc't they was a little boy wouldn't say his pray’rs —
An' when he went to bed ’at night, away up stairs,
His mammy heerd him holler, an' his daddy heerd him
bawl, An' when they turn't the kivvers down, he wasn't there
at all! An' they seeked him in the rafter-room, an' cubby-hole,
press, An' seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an' ever'wheres, I
guess, But all they ever found was thist his pants an' round
about! An' the gobble-uns 'll git you
An' one time a little girl ’ud allus laugh an' grin,
An' make fun of ever' one an' all her blood-an’-kin,
An' onc't when they was “company,” an' ole folks was