by Edgar Albert Guest
A convalescin' woman does the strangest sort o' things,
An' it's wonderful the courage that a little new strength brings;
O, it's never safe to leave her for an hour or two alone,
Or you'll find th' doctor's good work has been quickly overthrown.
There's that wife o' mine, I reckon she's a sample of 'em all;
She's been mighty sick, I tell you, an' to-day can scarcely crawl,
But I left her jes' this mornin' while I fought potater bugs,
An' I got back home an' caught her in the back yard shakin' rugs.
I ain't often cross with Nellie, an' I let her have her way,
But it made me mad as thunder when I got back home to-day
An' found her doin' labor that'd tax a big man's strength;
An' I guess I lost my temper, for I scolded her at length,
'Til I seen her teardrops fallin' an' she said: "I couldn't stand
To see those rugs so dirty, so I took 'em all in hand,
An' it ain't hurt me nuther--see, I'm gettin' strong again--"
An' I said: "Doggone it! can't ye leave sich work as that fer men?"
Once I had her in a hospittle fer weeks an' weeks an' weeks,
An' she wasted most to nothin', an' th' roses left her cheeks;
An' one night I feared I'd lose her; 'twas the turnin' point, I guess,
Coz th' next day I remember that th' doctor said: "Success!"
Well, I brought her home an' told her that for two months she must stay
A-sittin' in her rocker an' jes' watch th' kids at play.
An' th' first week she was patient, but I mind the way I swore
On th' day when I discovered 'at she'd scrubbed th' kitchen floor.
O, you can't keep wimmin quiet, an' they ain't a bit like men;
They're hungerin' every minute jes' to get to work again;
An' you've got to watch 'em allus, when you know they're weak an' ill,
Coz th' minute that yer back is turned they'll labor fit to kill.
Th' house ain't cleaned to suit 'em an' they seem to fret an' fume
'Less they're busy doin' somethin' with a mop or else a broom;
An' it ain't no use to scold 'em an' it ain't no use to swear,
Coz th' next time they will do it jes' the minute you ain't there.
Last updated January 14, 2019