by Edgar Guest
Oh, never comes the circus with its wonders into town
but I recall a little boy who longed to be a clown,
and high above the heads of all an acrobat I see
that little lad of long ago was hopeful he would be.
No care had he for words that rhyme. A more entrancing thing
was jumping on and off a horse within a sawdust ring.
And all the verses ever penned he’d gladly trade back then
to be the spangled hero in the roaring lions’ den.
There was a riding lady in a fluffy skirt of pink
who might have lured this little boy away from printer’s ink,
but destiny or fortune or the fates – or was it Dad? –
contrived to change the life-work of this circus-dreaming lad.
He would not now retrace his steps. Through eyes now growing dim
he sees an acrobat’s career would not have done for him.
But still when bands are playing and the circus barkers shout
a little boy of fifty-one walks wide-eyed round about.
From his book, Along Life’s Highway
©1933 by the Reilly & Lee Company
I really enjoyed the poem. It reminds me of the stories my father (Hugh Lewis Vance) used to tell me about the Mississippi Show boats that docked at Natchez when he was a boy. They would have a lovely parade that day and then a show in the late afternoon and one at night. He really enjoyed both the parade and the show. Old Times. He was born in 1904.Marilyn Vance McGaughey
Glad you enjoyed this. I like most of Edgar Guest’s poems — they speak of a time of simple joys and principles. 🙂