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Oft in the Stilly Night

From The Topeka State Journal, March 7, 1913.
 By Roy K. Moulton.

 Oft in the stilly night,
     Ere slumber’s chains have bound me
 Just when I’ve neatly tucked
     The flannel blanket ‘round me,
 There comes the alarming thought,
     With possibilities dire;
 I know that I have forgot
     To fix that blamed furnace fire.
 I scramble out in the cold
     With every nerve fibre quaking;
 My nasal appendage is blue;
     My elbows and knees are shaking.
 I stumble o’er rugs and chairs
     And make a terrible noise
 By falling downstairs head first—
     I’ve tripped on a pile of toys.
 I strike a tin railroad train,
     And slide o’er the hard oak floor
 On elbows and shoulder blades;
     My head bangs against a door.
 When I reach the basement depths,
     I’m sick and I’m sore and lame,
 I open the furnace mouth
     And seek for the tongue of flame.
 I find that the fire’s all right;
     That it’s just as it ought to be
 To last through the entire night
     And that’s where the joke’s on me.
 I remember when it’s too late,
     As I rub each lame bruised spot,
 I’d fixed the blame thing all right—
     I’d fixed it and then forgot.

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