The joys of school days long ago of which fond
bards have sung,
The joy that made my heart beat fast and made
my burdens light
Was mine, when mother said, "You may go home
with Bill tonight."
Fer Bill and I were chums, we sat together in one
We shared at dinner every day the things we had
We studied from the well thumbed books, (with
ink marks on each page)
That in one term or less appeared to have been
used an age.
I chewed Bill's gum when he was tired, or if
enough for two
The rule of short division was applied so both
And when I spilled the ink across his copy book's
Bill took his sleeve and wiped it up and showed
no sign of rage.
So when my mother said, "You may go home
with Bill tonight,"
My heart jumped high for I was filled with joy's
And all the day as moments dragged from nine
o'clock till four
"You're goin' home with me tonight" Bill said it
o'er and o'er.
Bill showed me where the crow's nest was (to
climb to it we tried).
I helped him milk old Crumply Horn, one of us
on each side.
And then we made a fishin' line___a bent pin for
'N' Bill and I and Bill's grandpa went fishin' in
We had the measles, Bill and I, Bill broke out
with them first.
Of all the lonesome days I've seen, the next day
was the worst.
I sat alone and tried in vain to study some that
But 'twasn't any use to try, with my chum Bill
That night when Bill was in his bed, with measles
His mother came into the room to tuck the quilt
And when the flickering candle shone upon Bill's
His mother started with surprise, for my head too
Oh, Billy Boy, my youthful chum, may years
touch lightly now
Upon the head I love so well, upon thy once fair
When springtime comes and pupils search for
flowers on the hill,
I call from memory again my boyhood chum, my
(Boston: The Gorham Press. 1914)