i muse on what the years may be
whose coming tales are all unsaid,
till tongs and shovel, snugly laid
within their shadowed niches, grow
by grim degrees to pick and spade,
as one by one the phantoms go.
but then, what though the mystic three
around me ply their merry trade? --
and charon soon may carry me
across the gloomy stygian glade? --
who laughs at a tumble and grins at a bruise?
who climbs over fences and clambers up trees,
and scrapes all the skin off his shins and his knees?
who sometimes comes home all bespattered with blood
that was drawn by a fall? it's that rascal called bud.
yet, who is it makes all our toiling worth while?
who can cure every ache that we know, by his smile?
who is prince to his mother and king to his dad
and makes us forget that we ever were sad?
who is center of all that we dream of and plan,
our baby to-day but to-morrow our man?