Poetry of Kansas
 

That New Boy.

Well, John, your telegram's received,
   A brimming draught of joy.
The news can hardly be believed,
   That you have got a boy.

It seems but yesterday, indeed,
   You sat in Mother's lap,
Or rode a prancing broomstick steed,
   A white-haired little chap.

I can't forget the load of great
   Responsibility
With which, two years your senior, Fate
   Had seemed to burden me.

Nor be unmindful that wherein
   Lay my authority,
And right to practice discipline,
   Was more than you could see.
 
But didn't we have worlds of fun,
   Those watermelon days,
When life for us had just begun,
   And new were all its ways
 
How good green apples tasted then___
   Until we went to bed,
And heard from that same fruit again,
   And wished that we were dead l
 
And Saturdays, when out of school,
    What more could youngsters wish,
Than hook and line and limpid pool
   And half a day to fish
 
And if, perchance, we caught a few___
   A dozen, say, or so___
None longer than an inch or two,
   How proudly home we'd go!
 
How mother loved to cook those fish !
   How good they always were!
How appetizing every dish
   Prepared for us by her!
 
Do you recall that after school
   One day when wells were drY,
You rode Old Jack, our pious mule,
   To try the creek near by?
 
His thirst more quickly to appease,
   Or saintlier to seem,
He dropped devoutly on his knees,
   And dumped you in the stream.
 
I even have to laugh to-day,
   At how your vengeance, cruel,
Portrayed the fierce and ghastly way
   You planned to kill that mule!
 
But by-and-by your wrath was stilled
   With dry attire for wet,
And if Old Jack has not been killed
   I s'pose he's living yet.
 
And now the scroll of memory brings,
   From out that golden past,
 Bright days which flew. on eagles' wings,
   And joys too deep to last.
 
And just to think a boy has come,
   A sort of known surprise,
To make headquarters at your home___
   It's hard to realize.
 
But if the little chap survives,
   Before he reaches six
Just note how deftly he contrives
   To play his father's tricks.
 
If, like his father, he attain
   The ideal six-foot plan,
May he, like him, in heart and brain
   Be every inch a man.

__Harry E. Mills.

The Sod House in Heaven
Harry E. Mills
(Topeka, Kansas.: Geo. W. Crane & Company. 1892)
Pages 57-61

 
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July 29, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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