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Poem by Edgar Albert Guest

A Wish

I'd like to be a boy again, a care-free prince of
joy again,
I'd like to tread the hills and dales the way I
used to do;
I'd like the tattered shirt again, the knickers
thick with dirt again,
The ugly, dusty feet again that long ago I
I'd like to play first base again, and Sliver's
curves to face again,
I'd like to climb, the way I did, a friendly
apple tree;
For, knowing what I do to-day, could I but
wander back and play,
I'd get full measure of the joy that boy-
hood gave to me.

I'd like to be a lad again, a youngster, wild and
glad again,
I'd like to sleep and eat again the way I used
to do;
I'd like to race and run again, and drain from
life its fun again,
And start another round of joy the moment
one was through.
But care and strife have come to me, and often
days are glum to me,
And sleep is not the thing it was and food
is not the same;
And I have sighed, and known that I must
journey on again to sigh,
And I have stood at envy's point and heard
the voice of shame.

I've learned that joys are fleeting things; that
parting pain each meeting brings;
That gain and loss are partners here, and so
are smiles and tears;
That only boys from day to day can drain and
fill the cup of play;
That age must mourn for what is lost
throughout the coming years.
But boys cannot appreciate their priceless joy
until too late
And those who own the charms I had will
soon be changed to men;
And then, they too will sit, as I, and backward
turn to look and sigh
And share my longing, vain, to be a care-
free boy again.

Edgar Albert Guest

Edgar Albert Guest's other poems:
  1. The Broken Drum
  2. The Scoffer
  3. The BachelorТs Soliloquy
  4. When Nellies' on the Job
  5. Since Jessie Died

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Matthew Arnold A Wish ("I ask not that my bed of death")
  • Hamlin Garland A Wish ("ALL day and many days I rode")
  • Frederick Locker-Lampson A Wish ("To the south of the church, and beneath yonder yew")

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