Bringing in the Coal

BRINGING IN THE COAL

When I was but a little lad
Before I went to bed
There was a winter task I had
I used to view with dread;
Into the dark and frozen land
I made a nightly stroll
To carry back in either hand
A scuttle full of coal.

The barn was ninety feet away,
But still it seemed a mile,
For many ghostly shadows lay
Along that snow-flaked aisle.
So black the place, so dim the light,
It terrified the soul
Sometimes to go out there at night
To carry in the coal.

Oft at the open kitchen door
My mother used to stand
And watch for me to come once more
From that forbidding land.
As from that inky pit I came
As swiftly as I could,
I’d see her in the gas jet’s flame
And, oh, the sight was good!

But times have changed. Our boys today
Know naught of winter’s chill.
They go serenely on their way
And have no stoves to fill.
They merely move a thermostat
And pipes grow steaming hot,
And life is easier, but at that
I think they’ve missed a lot!

(Copyright, 1935) By Edgar Guest

Lima News (Lima, Ohio) Jan 9, 1935

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