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A poem on procrastination

He had a year to do it in

So brushed the thought away,

A chap with half his energy

Might do it in a day.

A year! ‘Twas too ridiculous,

As everyone should find;

However, he would get it done

And have it off his mind.

But not today. A few months hence would suit him better still;

Meanwhile, a far less irksome job

Might occupy his skill.

He would not let the matter pass

Entirely from him, No;

And doubtless he might take it up

In, say a month or so.

He had six months to do it in!

For six long months had flown;

Well, why should that alarm a chap

With talents like his own?

The job, whence once embarked upon,

Would soon be rattled through;

However, he would think of it,

In, say, a week or two.

He had three months to do it in!

"Oh brother!" was his cry;

The thing hangs on me like a weight,

Each day that passes by.

Let's see: three months? Ah, that's enough,

But, just to clear the doubt,

Make arrangements for a start

Before the month is out.

He had a week to do it in!

And care was in his glance.

"It's hard," he cried, "that flight of time,

Won't give a chap a chance!"

He still delayed, the swift week passed,

As weeks will ever run,

And though a year was given him,

The task was still undone.

John Lea in Boys Own Paper (Volume 37 Issue 3, January 1915)


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