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Poem by Menella Bute Smedley

A Boy's Aspiration

I was four yesterday: when I'm quite old,
I'll have a cricket-ball made of pure gold;
I'll carve the roast meat, and help soup and fish;
I'll get my feet wet whenever I wish;
I'll never go to bed till twelve o'clock;
I'll make a mud pie in a clean frock;
I'll whip the naughty boys with a new birch;
I'll take my guinea-pig always to church;
I'll spend a hundred pounds every day;
I'll have the alphabet quite done away;
I'll have a parrot without a sharp beak;
I'll see a pantomime six times a week;
I'll have a rose-tree, always in bloom;
I'll keep a dancing bear in Mamma's room;
I'll spoil my best clothes, and not care a pin;
I'll have no visitors ever let in;
I'll go at liberty up stairs or down;
I'll pin a dish-cloth to the cook's gown;
I'll light the candles, and ring the big bell;
I'll smoke Papa's pipe, feeling quite well;
I'll have a ball of string fifty miles long;
I'll have a whistle as loud as the gong;
I'll scold the housemaid for making a dirt;
I'll cut my fingers without being hurt;
I'll have my pinafores quite loose and nice;
I'll wear great fishing-boots, like Captain Price;
I'll have a pot of beer at the girls' tea;
I'll have John taught to say Thank you to me;
I'll never stand up to show that I'm grown;
No one shall say to me, Don't throw a stone!
I'll drop my butter'd toast on the new chintz;
I'll have no governess, giving her hints!
I'll have a nursery up in the stars;
I'll lean through windows without any bars;
I'll sail without my nurse in a big boat;
I'll have no comforters tied round my throat;
I'll have a language with not a word spell'd;
I'll ride on horseback without being held;
I'll hear Mamma say, My boy, good as gold!
When I'm a grown-up man, sixty years old.

Menella Bute Smedley

Menella Bute Smedley's other poems:
  1. The Little Fair Soul
  2. A Prayer for One Beloved
  3. The Little Queen
  4. The Tournament
  5. The Lay of King James I in his Captivity

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