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

Sly Boy

I was the slyest boy at home,
The slyest boy at school,
I wanted all the world to know
That I was no one's fool.

I kept my childish hopes and schemes
Locked closely in my breast,
No single secret shared with Bob,
The chum I liked the best.

I never showed my squirrel's nest,
Nor beaver dam, nor cave,
Nor fortress where I used to go
To be a soldier brave.

Oh, I was sly, just awful sly,
In winter, summer, spring,
While Bob would tell me all he knew,
I never told a thing.

And yet Bob always got ahead;
I'd find the careless knave
Asleep within my fortress walls,
And fishing in my cave.

'What, yours!' he said, in great surprise,
'You should have told me so.
You never said a word, old chum,
And how was I to know?'

My slyness hurt more than it helped;
If Bob had known, you see,
He was too kind to do his best
To get ahead of me.

I still was sly when I grew up.
I fell in love with Nan,
But scorned to own it to myself
Or any other man.

So sly was I, Nan never guessed-
No more did handsome Bob-
That every time she looked my way
My heart, it stirred and throbbed.

The same old story! Ere I knew,
My chum had loved and won.
When I explained I'd picked her out
To be my very own,

'What, yours!' he said in great surprise,
'You should have told me so.
You never said a word, old chum,
And how was I to know?'

I've learned my lesson, lost my girl;
You'll own 'tis rather rough.
Henceforward I'll not be too sly-
I'll be just sly enough.

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