(4 November 1872 - 1934 / Scotia, Lake Erie, Ontario)

Billy

O! He was the boy of the house, you know,
A jolly and rollicking lad;
He never was sick, he never was tired,
And nothing could make him sad.

If he started to play at sunrise,
Not a rest would he take at noon;
No day was so long from beginning to end,
But his bed-time came too soon.

Did someone urge that he make less noise,
He would say, with a saucy grin:
'Why, one boy alone doesn't make much stir-
O sakes! I wish I was a twin.

'There's two of twins, and it must be fun
To go double at everything;
To holler by twos, and whistle by twos,
To stamp by twos, and to sing!'

His laugh was something to make you glad,
So brimful was it of joy;
A conscience he had, perhaps, in his breast,
But it never troubled the boy.

You met him out on the garden path,
The terrier at his heels,
And knew by the shout he hailed you with
How happy a youngster feels.

The maiden auntie was half distraught
With his tricks as the days went by;
'The most mischievous child in all the world!'
She said with a shrug and a sigh.

His father owned that her words were true,
His mother declared each day
He was putting wrinkles into her face,
And turning her brown hair gray.

His grown-up sister referred to him
As 'a trouble,' 'a trial,' 'a grief';
The way he ignored all rules, she said,
Was something beyond belief!

It never troubled the boy of the house,
He revelled in racket and din,
Had only one regret in the world-
He hadn't been born a twin!

* * * * *

There's nobody making a noise to-day,
There's nobody stamping the floor,
'Tis strangely silent upstairs and down-
White ribbons upon the door.

The terrier's whining out in the sun:
'Where's my comrade?' he seems to say.
Turn your plaintive eyes away, little dog,
There's no frolic for you to-day.

The freckle-faced girl from the house next door
Is sobbing her young heart out.
Don't cry, little girl, you'll soon forget
The laugh and the merry shout.

The grown-up sister is kissing his face,
And calling him 'angel' and 'sweet,'
And the maiden aunt is nursing the boots
He wore on his restless feet.

So big, so solemn the old house seems-
No uproar, no racket, no din,
No shrill peal of laughter, no voice shrieking out,
'O sakes! I wish I was a twin!'

A man and a woman white with grief
Watch the wearisome moments creep-
Oh! the loneliness touches everything,
The boy of the house is asleep!

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