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A poem by Edgar A. Guest

Practicing Time

Title:     Practicing Time
Author: Edgar A. Guest [More Titles by Guest]

Always whenever I want to play
I've got to practice an hour a day,
Get through breakfast an' make my bed,
And Mother says: "Marjorie, run ahead!
There's a time for work and a time for fun,
So go and get your practicing done."
And Bud, he chuckles and says to me:
"Yes, do your practicing, Marjorie."
A brother's an awful tease, you know,
And he just says that 'cause I hate it so.

They leave me alone in the parlor there
To play the scales or "The Maiden's Prayer,"
And if I stop, Mother's bound to call,
"Marjorie dear, you're not playing at all!
Don't waste your time, but keep right on,
Or you'll have to stay when the hour is gone."
Or maybe the maid looks in at me
And says: "You're not playing, as I can see.
Just hustle along--I've got work to do
And I can't dust the room until you get through."

Then when I've run over the scales and things
Like "The Fairies' Dance," or "The Mountain Springs,"
And my fingers ache and my head is sore,
I find I must sit there a half hour more.
An hour is terribly long, I say,
When you've got to practice and want to play.
So slowly at times has the big hand dropped
That I was sure that the clock had stopped,
But Mother called down to me: "Don't forget--
A full hour, please. It's not over yet."

Oh, when I get big and have children, too,
There's one thing that I will never do--
I won't have brothers to tease the girls
And make them mad when they pull their curls
And laugh at them when they've got to stay
And practice their music an hour a day;
I won't have a maid like the one we've got,
That likes to boss you around a lot;
And I won't have a clock that can go so slow
When it's practice time, 'cause I hate it so.

[The end]
Edgar A. Guest's poem: Practicing Time