Nothing to Do

I HAVE sailed my boat and spun my top,
And handled my last new ball;
I trundled my hoop till I had to stop,
And I swung till got a fall;
I tumbled my books all out of the shelves,
And hunted the pictures through;
I’ve flung them where they may sort themselves,
And now—I have nothing to do.

The tower of Babel I built of blocks
Came down with a crash to the floor;
My train of cars ran over the rocks—
I’ll warrant they’ll run no more;
I have raced with Grip till I’m out of breath;
My slate is broken in two,
So I can’t draw monkeys. I’m tired to death
Because I have nothing to do.
I can see where the boys have gone to fish;
They bothered me, too, to go,
But for fun like that I hadn’t a wish,
For I think it’s mighty “slow”
To sit all day at the end of a rod
For the sake of a minnow or two,
Or to land, at the farthest, an eel on the sod:
I’d rather have nothing to do.
Maria has gone to the woods for flowers,
And Lucy and Rose are away
After berries. I’m sure they’ve been out for hours;
I wonder what makes them stay?
Ned wanted to saddle Brunette for me,
But riding is nothing new;
“I was thinking you’d relish a canter,” said he,
“Because you have nothing to do.”
I wish I was poor Jim Foster’s son,
For he seems so happy and gay,
When his wood is chopped and his work all done,
With his little half hour of play;
He neither has books nor top nor ball,
Yet he’s singing the whole day through;
But then he is never tired at all
Because he has nothing to do.