Hesitation

A poem by Ringgold Wilmer Lardner

I've orders to waken you from your nap,
And orders are orders, my little chap.
But I hate to do it, because it seems
A shame to break in on your blissful dreams.

I've sat and watched you a long, long while,
And not since I came have you ceased to smile.
So it strikes me as wrong to arouse you, boy,
From sleep that's so plainly a sleep of joy.

'Twill make a big diff'rence tonight, of course,
But p'rhaps you are riding a real live horse;
In dreams, it's a pleasant and harmless sport,
So why should I cruelly cut it short?

Maybe you have for your very own
A piece of pie or an ice cream cone;
If that's your amusement, why end it quick?
Dream-food can't possibly make you sick.

Orders are orders and I'm afraid
It's trouble for me if they're disobeyed.
But I'll bet if the boss could see you, son,
She'd put off the duty, as I have done.

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