Edgar Albert Guest

20 August 1881 - 5 August 1959 / Birmingham / England

Baby's Got A Tooth

The telephone rang in my office to-day,
as it often has tinkled before.
I turned in my chair in a half-grouchy way,
for a telephone call is a bore;
And I thought, 'It is somebody wanting to know
the distance from here to Pekin.'
In a tone that was gruff I shouted 'Hello,'
a sign for the talk to begin.
'What is it?' I asked in a terrible way.
I was huffy, to tell you the truth,
Then over the wire I heard my wife say:
'The baby, my dear, has a tooth!'

I have seen a man jump when the horse that he
backed finished first in a well-driven race.
I have heard the man cheer, as a matter of fact,
and I've seen the blood rush to his face;
I've been on the spot when good news has come
in and I've witnessed expressions of glee
That range from a yell to a tilt of the chin; and
some things have happened to me
That have thrilled me with joy from my toes to
my head, but never from earliest youth
Have I jumped with delight as I did when she
said, 'The baby, my dear, has a tooth.'

I have answered the telephone thousands of times
for messages both good and bad;
I've received the reports of most horrible crimes,
and news that was cheerful or sad;
I've been telephoned this and been telephoned
that, a joke, or an errand to run;
I've been called to the phone for the idlest of chat,
when there was much work to be done;
But never before have I realized quite the thrill
of a message, forsooth,
Till over the wire came these words that I write,
'The baby, my dear, has a tooth.'
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