Ella Wheeler Wilcox (5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)
The cunningest thing that a baby can do
Is the very first time it plays peek-a-boo;
When it hides its pink little face in its hands,
And crows, and shows that it understands
What nurse, and mamma and papa, too,
Mean when they hide and cry, 'Peek-a-boo, peek-a-boo.'
Oh, what a wonderful thing it is,
When they find that baby can play like this;
And everyone listens, and thinks it true
That baby's gurgle means 'Peek-a-boo, peek-a-boo';
And over and over the changes are rung
On the marvelous infant who talks so young.
I wonder if any one ever knew
A baby that never played peek-a-boo, peek-a-boo.
'Tis old as the hills are. I believe
Cain was taught it by Mother Eve;
For Cain was an innocent baby, too,
And I am sure he played peek-a-boo, peek-a-boo.
And the whole world full of the children of men,
Have all of them played that game since then.
Kings and princes and beggars, too,
Everyone has played peek-a-boo, peek-a-boo.
Thief and robber and ruffian bold,
The crazy tramp and the drunkard old,
All have been babies who laughed and knew
How to hide, and play peek-a-boo, peek-a-boo.
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