Robert William Service (16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)
"Let's make him a sailor," said Father,
"And he will adventure the sea."
"A soldier," said Mother, "is rather
What I would prefer him to be."
"A lawyer," said Father, "would please me,
For then he could draw up my will."
"A doctor," said Mother, "would ease me;
Maybe he could give me a pill."
Said Father: "Lt's make him a curate,
A Bishop in gaiters to be."
Said Mother: "I couldn't endure it
To have Willie preaching to me."
Said Father: ""Let him be a poet;
So often he's gathering wool."
Said Mother with temper: "Oh stow it!
You know it, a poet's a fool."
Said Farther: "Your son is a duffer,
A stupid and mischievous elf."
Said Mother, who's rather a huffer:
"That's right - he takes after yourself."
Controlling parental emotion
They turned to me, seeking a cue,
And sudden conceived the bright notion
To ask what I wanted to do.
Said I: "my ambition is modest:
A clown in a circus I'd be,
And turn somersaults in the sawdust
With audience laughing at me."
. . . Poor parents! they're dead and decaying,
But I am a clown as you see;
And though in no circus I'm playing,
How people are laughing at me!
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