Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BILLY, HE'S IN TROUBLE, by JAMES BARTON ADAMS

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

BILLY, HE'S IN TROUBLE, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: I've got a letter, parson, from my son, away out west
Last Line: Bill's in the legislatur, but he doesn't say what fur.
Subject(s): Letters; Messages & Messengers; Shame

I'VE got a letter, parson, from my son, away out west,
An' my ol' heart is heavy as an anvil in my breast,
To think the boy whose futur' I had once so proudly planned
Should wander from the path o' right an' come to sich an end.
I told him when he started out toward the settin' sun
He'd find the row he had to hoe a mighty rocky one,
He'd miss his father's counsel an' his mother's prayers, too,
But he said the farm was hateful an' he guessed he'd have to go.

I know there's big temptation for a youngster in the West,
But I believed our Billy had the courage to resist,
An' when he left I told him of the ever-waitin' snares
That lie like hidden serpents in life's pathway everywheres.
But Bill he promised faithful to be keerful an' allowed
He'd build a reputation that'd make us mighty proud,
But it seems as how my counsel sort o' faded from his mind,
And now the boy's in trouble of the very wustest kind.

His letters come so seldom that we somehow sort o' knowed
That Billy was a-trampin' in a mighty rocky road,
But never once imagined he would bow my head in shame
An' in the dust'd waller his ol' daddy's honored name.
He writes from out in Denver, an' the letter's mighty short —
I just cain't tell his mother. It will break her poor ol' heart.
An' so I reckoned, parson, you might break the news to her —
Bill's in the legislatur, but he doesn't say what fur.

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