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To My Father (Poem)

I.

Sometimes I vainly wish I had been born
In some large mansion beautified by age
As seems a little heaven when breaks the morn
Admired by all men—the uncouth and sage,
So I had known the luxury of wealth
Where comes no worry how to make ends meet,
But all that pleasure gives or makes for health
Because of wealth is always at the feet.

But now I know that gold is but a greed,
That wealth is apt more oft to curse than bless,
That luxury no less than direst need
Breeds discontent and wanton idleness,
That happiness depends not on the sphere,
But on the hearts and souls of those who’re there.

II

Sometimes I wish—how vain! that I had been
Born in a sphere where learned men make free,
A sphere enriched by men of lordly mien,
Wise men of letters from the Varsity,
Or in a sphere made trebly beautiful
By artists, poets or musicians, men
Who mould the minds of lesser souls, a school
Such as would make the earth a heaven again.

But youth is vain. Now I am glad I know
A home of modest means of simple ways,
And take today the wiser, saner views,
And lift my heart to God in thanks, in praise.
Now I desire in vain—again to be
Sharing the joys, the love, at home with thee.

III

So now I raise a thankful prayer to heaven
That I was born the son of such a man,
To whom no special worldly wealth was given,
Just one who fills a place in God’s great plan;
One who toils on unceasingly through life,
And finds in toil a joy, and from his needs
Fashions a heart that’s strong, unknown to strife,
Brim full with honest love that speaks in deeds.

A soul that’s broad, compassionate, and kind,
A soul that's noble, clear as Summer’s sky,
A thoughtful, gracious, and unselfish mind
That never wavers when dark clouds pass by,
But keeps a. cheery face, come weal, come woe,
And sees the sunshine through the rain and snow!

IV

Hands horny still with labor all well done,
A conscience true to God, a simple faith
That lasts through trial and pain, through rain and sun,
Firm to the very end—come life! come death;
Honest as new born day, though poverty
Knocks sometimes at the door, yet struggling on
Ever in truth and right, nor seeks to see
What lies ahead; content to trust the Son,

The Christ he loves. And so his heaven is nigher
Than most men dream heaven can be while earth’s trod,
So presses towards the mark of his desire,
Revered by fellow-men and loved by God,
And so I count myself as trebly blest
That I had such a father. God knew best!

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