Edgar Albert Guest

20 August 1881 - 5 August 1959 / Birmingham / England

Forgetful Pa

My Pa says that he used to be
A bright boy in geography;
An' when he went to school he knew
The rivers an' the mountains, too,
An' all the capitals of states
An' bound'ry lines an' all the dates
They joined the union. But last night
When I was studyin' to recite
I asked him if he would explain
The leading industries of Maine—
He thought an' thought an' thought a lot,
An' said, 'I knew, but I've forgot.'
My Pa says when he was in school
He got a hundred as a rule;
An' grammar was a thing he knew
Becoz he paid attention to
His teacher, an' he learned the way
To write good English, an' to say
The proper things, an' I should be
As good a boy in school as he.
But once I asked him could he give
Me help with the infinitive—
He scratched his head and said: 'Great Scott!
I used to know, but I've forgot.
My Pa says when he was a boy
Arithmetic was just a toy;
He learned his tables mighty fast
An' every term he always passed,
An' had good marks, an' teachers said:
'That youngster surely has a head.'
But just the same I notice now
Most every time I ask him how
To find the common multiple,
He says, 'That's most unusual!
Once I'd have told you on the spot,
But somehow, sonny, I've forgot.'
I'm tellin' you just what is what,
My Pa's forgot an awful lot!
154 Total read