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Poem by Eugene Field
The Limitations of Youth
I'd like to be a cowboy an' ride a fiery hoss Way out into the big an' boundless west; I'd kill the bears an' catamounts an' wolves I come across, An' I'd pluck the bal' head eagle from his nest! With my pistols at my side, I would roam the prarers wide, An' to scalp the savage Injun in his wigwam would I ride— If I darst; but I darsen't! I'd like to go to Afriky an' hunt the lions there, An' the biggest ollyfunts you ever saw! I would track the fierce gorilla to his equatorial lair, An' beard the cannybull that eats folks raw! I'd chase the pizen snakes An' the 'pottimus that makes His nest down at the bottom of unfathomable lakes— If I darst; but I darsen't! I would I were a pirut to sail the ocean blue, With a big black flag aflyin' overhead; I would scour the billowy main with my gallant pirut crew An' dye the sea a gouty, gory red! With my cutlass in my hand On the quarterdeck I'd stand And to deeds of heroism I'd incite my pirut band— If I darst; but I darsen't! And, if I darst, I'd lick my pa for the times that he's licked me! I'd lick my brother an' my teacher, too! I'd lick the fellers that call round on sister after tea, An' I'd keep on lickin' folks till I got through! You bet! I'd run away From my lessons to my play, An' I'd shoo the hens, an' tease the cat, an' kiss the girls all day— If I darst; but I darsen't!
Eugene Field's other poems:
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