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The Old Wooden Tub

by Edgar A. Guest

I like to get to thinking of the old days that are gone,
When there were joys that never more the world will look upon,
The days before inventors smoothed the little cares away
And made, what seemed but luxuries then, the joys of every day;
When bathrooms were exceptions, and we got our weekly scrub
By standing in the middle of a little wooden tub.

We had no rapid heaters, and no blazing gas to burn,
We boiled the water on the stove, and each one took his turn.
Sometimes to save expenses we would use one tub for two;
The water brother Billy used for me would also do,
Although an extra kettle I was granted, I admit,
On winter nights to freshen and to warm it up a bit.

We carried water up the stairs in buckets and in pails,
And sometimes splashed it on our legs, and rent the air with wails,
But if the nights were very cold, by closing every door
We were allowed to take our bath upon the kitchen floor.
Beside the cheery stove we stood and gave ourselves a rub,
In comfort most luxurious in that old wooden tub.

But modern homes no more go through that joyous weekly fun,
And through the sitting rooms at night no half-dried children run;
No little flying forms go past, too swift to see their charms,
With shirts and underwear and things tucked underneath their arms;
The home's so full of luxury now, it's almost like a club,
I sometimes wish we could go back to that old wooden tub.

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