Edgar Albert Guest

(20 August 1881 - 5 August 1959 / Birmingham / England)

Snooping 'Round - Poem by Edgar Albert Guest

Last night I caught him on his knees and looking underneath the bed,
And oh, the guilty look he wore, and oh, the stammered words he said,
When I, pretending to be cross, said: 'Hey, young fellow, what's your
game?'
As if, back in the long ago, I hadn't also played the same;
As if, upon my hands and knees, I hadn't many a time been found
When, thinking of the Christmas Day, I'd gone upstairs to snoop around.

But there he stood and hung his head; the rascal knew it wasn't fair.
'I jes' was wonderin',' he said, 'jes' what it was that's under there.
It's somepin' all wrapped up an' I thought mebbe it might be a sled,
Becoz I saw a piece of wood 'at's stickin' out all painted red.'
'If mother knew,' I said to him, 'you'd get a licking, I'll be bound,
But just clear out of here at once, and don't you ever snoop around.'

And as he scampered down the stairs I stood and chuckled to myself,
As I remembered how I'd oft explored the topmost closet shelf.
It all came back again to me- with what a shrewd and cunning way
I, too, had often sought to solve the mysteries of Christmas Day.
How many times my daddy, too, had come upstairs without a sound
And caught me, just as I'd begun my clever scheme to snoop around.

And oh, I envied him his plight; I envied him the joy he feels
Who knows that every drawer that's locked some treasure dear to him
conceals;
I envied him his Christmas fun and wished that it again were mine
To seek to solve the mysteries by paper wrapped and bound by twine.
Some day he'll come to understand that all the time I stood and frowned,
I saw a boy of years ago who also used to snoop around.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, August 27, 2014



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