Poetry of Kansas

J. R. E.

Who is this splendid youth of grace and vigor?
              Who looks so very like
              A bright-faced little tike
I used to call my son-but vastly bigger?
The rush and hurry of the years-how tragic!
              That boy of dancing eyes
              Has sprung to manly size,
As in a dream of sleep things change by magic.
He stands alert and eager for life's battle,
              Large, manly, strong and bold.
              And sixteen summers old,
He who so lately cooed and shook the rattle.
He's well advanced along the road of knowledge,
              This grown-up little chap,
              No longer on my lap;
For off he wants to go next month to college.
He has opinions fortified in reason,
              And views that are his own.
              Oh, how the years have flown
Since he was teething in his second season.
He has a girl and all of love's distresses,
              With mingled grief and glow;
              Yet 'tis not long ago
That he was wearing pretty gingham dresses.
Oh, heartless years! 'twere cruel thus to do it:--
              To snatch the little chap
              Off from my loving lap
And make a man of him before I knew it.

Quillings In Verse
John Edward Everett
(Smith Center: ___. 1912)
Pages 73-74

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Maarch 20, 2005 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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